The quake, in the early hours of this morning, affected an area near Pernik in western Bulgaria approximately 30km southwest of the capital Sofia. The shocks were felt in the capital and other towns, and as far as neighbouring Greece and Macedonia. So far, no fatalities or serious injuries as a result of the earthquake have been reported.
SOS Children's Village Dren is just 20km from the epicentre of the earthquake. The Village, which opened in 1995, has 12 family houses where 91 children grow up as part of an SOS family. The Village also has an SOS Nursery used by children and families in the neighbourhood. Programme Director Maryan Dyankov has confirmed that everyone at the SOS Children's Village is safe and that no visible structural damage has been discovered. Once the situation is calmer, a further detailed inspection will take place.
The nearby town of Radomir, where SOS Children have a Family Strengthening Programme, is amongst the areas most affected by the earthquake. Some of the town’s population live in old and unstable houses, and so damage is likely. Crisis headquarters, established immediately after the quake, have declared an emergency situation in Pernik. Schools and nurseries in the area will stay closed until Thursday.
SOS Children in Bulgaria have informed local authorities that they are ready and willing to provide children and families from the neighbourhood affected by the earthquake with temporary shelter.
SOS Children have been working in Bulgaria since the early 1990s, and have two SOS Children’s Villages in the country. Find out more about our work in Bulgaria.