Earthquake Rattles Central Serbia

KRALJEVO, Serbia -- A moderate earthquake rattled central Serbia overnight, damaging buildings, killing at least two people and injuring 50 others, authorities said Wednesday.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake with a 5.3 magnitude struck 75 miles south of the Serbian capital, Belgrade, at 01:56 a.m. Wednesday.

The hardest hit area was around the town of Kraljevo where the trembler destroyed or damaged buildings and left parts of the city without electricity, running water or telephone lines.

Serbia's Interior Minister Ivica Dacic said a couple in their 50s died in a Kraljevo suburb when the roof of their house collapsed, while 50 people were injured elsewhere in the town.

Several mostly older buildings in the town were damaged, including local hospital and the town hall. Several cars were destroyed from falling concrete from the buildings.

Numerous aftershocks were felt Wednesday.

"The most important thing is that people calm down, that there is no panic and that the city authorities function," Dacic said in Kraljevo.

The earthquake was also felt in a wider area of Serbia including Belgrade where people were jolted from their beds, some fleeing their homes in panic.