A strong earthquake of magnitude 6.4 has hit central Croatia on Tuesday, leaving several dead and many more injured. The quake caused widespread damage in the Petrinja, a town southeast of the capital Zagreb. According to reports, at least six people are feared dead and many trapped under rubble from the collapsed buildings.

According to local reports, at least 20 people have been hospitalized and two have sustained serious injuries. Officials also revealed that a 12-year-old girl was among the deceased in Petrinja quake.

"We are pulling people from the cars, we don't know if we have dead or injured," Darinko Dumbovic, the mayor of Petrinja, told regional broadcaster N1. "There is general panic, people are looking for their loved ones."

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'This is like Hiroshima'

"My town has been completely destroyed, we have dead children. This is like Hiroshima – half of the city no longer exists," Dumbovic added.

A resident of Petrinja, Marica Pavlovic described the horror of the quake as worse than a war. "It was horrible, a shock, you don't know what to do, whether to run out or hide somewhere," she told The Associated Press.

Croatian PM Andrej Plenkovic as well as other government officials visited the earthquake-hit Petrinja and Glina. The Prime Minister said the army has 500 places ready in barracks to house people. Nearby hotels and other places are also being used to accommodate people.

The tremors were felt in neighbouring Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and as far away as Graz in southern Austria.