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Croatia: Strong Quake Hits Southern Croatia

Zagreb, 6 September 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Croatian state radio is reporting "substantial" damage and one injury in the Adriatic resort of Ston, which was struck late yesterday by a magnitude six earthquake.

The tremor, which reportedly lasted 30 seconds, was centered between the southern Adriatic resort of Dubrovnik and the town of Ston to the North.

Dubrovnik police chief Eduard Cengiia says Ston "collapsed like a castle made of cards." Aftershocks are still being reported and Cengiia said that a number of people had been evacuated from the area.

Croatian media report that 80 percent of Ston's residential buildings were destroyed in the tremor, which knocked out power and caused landslides blocking the coastal road to Dubrovnik.

Mishic Vitzko, an employee at Dubrovnik's Hotel Argentina, told RFE/RL that no damage was reported in the famous medieval town, nor had he seen any. He said Dubrovnik was "quiet" and that electricity and transport were all operating normally.

Dubrovnik resident Mario Bukvic confirmed the same. He also told the RFE/RL correspondent that he had been touch with his parents in Ston.

"The people are in the streets and the buildings are gone," he said.