Minister Says More Than 1,000 Soldiers Have Participated in Quake Relief Efforts

By 4 January 2021
Minister Says More Than 1,000 Soldiers Have Participated in Quake Relief Efforts
Copyright Marc Rowlands

ZAGREB, 4 January, 2021 - Defence Minister Mario Banozic said on Monday that more than 1,000 soldiers had participated so far in efforts to alleviate the consequences of the December 29 earthquake in Sisak-Moslavina County.

Speaking to reporters ahead of a government session, Banozic said that the Croatian Army had secured accommodation for 380 civilians in the Petrinja barracks and that it was caring on a daily basis for 400 people who came occasionally to the barracks to sleep there.

Banozic noted that the army had helped keep local roads clear, removing rubble and making it possible for other services to enter towns and settlements in Sisak-Moslavina County.

It has also helped search the ground for people trapped in their collapsed houses and in their evacuation, as well as in the distribution of food and residential containers, he said.

The minister said the army would prepare aerial photos of the area to help other institutions make an application showing the exact extent of the damage caused by the earthquakes so as to prepare for reconstruction.

Asked to comment on the hierarchy of responsibility, Banozic said the army would make itself available to the coordinating team, to be set up by the government.

Asked why the government had waited for seven days to form the team, Banozic said that one had not waited and that work had been underway from the first day.

Asked if the establishment of the coordinating team meant that things on the ground did not go as they should have, he said that what was required to stabilise the system had functioned and that now preparations would be launched to enable the start of reconstruction as soon as possible.