Friday, 24 September 2021

Magnitude 3.6 Quake Rocks Sisak Area

ZAGREB, 24 Sept 2021 - An earthquake measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale was recorded in the Sisak area at 2239 hours on Thursday, Croatia's Seismological Survey said.

This was the fifth quake in Croatia in the past 41 hours, according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre.

The epicentre was near Čuntić, 8 km south of Petrinja, which was struck by a magnitude 6.2 quake on 29 December.

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Friday, 10 September 2021

Post-Earthquake Reconstruction Efficiency Low, Only 2.3% of Applications Processed

ZAGREB, 10 Sept 2021 - The director of the Reconstruction Fund, Damir Vanđelić, said on Friday that the reconstruction process in five counties affected by earthquakes is inefficient, underscoring that the Ministry of Construction, Physical Planning and State Assets has processed only 2.3% of the applications.

“Of the 12,997 applications submitted by citizens, only 2.3% have been processed and decisions made. They are the only documents with which the ministry instructs the Fund or the Central State Office to conduct a reconstruction," Vanđelić told a press conference.

He believes that "no one can be satisfied with the pace of reconstruction," and that everyone, including those in the system, is to blame.

Reconstruction programme resolved only part of the problems

Vanđelić welcomed the new package of reconstruction measures, noting that he had previously warned of the urgency to adopt it.

He believes that the new package of measures will solve only part of the problem. One of the obstacles to reconstruction lies in the fact that the current law has too many implementing bodies that are not cooperating sufficiently. Amendments to the law should centralise project management and procurement.

He also referred to a shortage of staff in bodies dealing with reconstruction, adding that urgent repairs of chimneys, stairwells and lifts need to be addressed in an organised manner. He believes that the cost of structural reconstruction should be fully covered in earthquake-hit areas.

Amendments to law mentioned only three weeks ago

Vanđelić added that even though experts and the Fund had warned that it was necessary to amend the law, it was only three weeks ago that this issue was even mentioned in the Ministry. 

Fund has received 57 decisions from the Ministry to date

Citing statistics, Vanđelić said that the Fund had received 57 decisions from the Ministry, and 21 of those decisions are related to demolitions while the others refer to allowances paid for temporarily securing damaged buildings.

Four houses have been demolished, 224 public procurement procedures have been implemented, with 98 of them being withdrawn as the prices were too low based on the former reconstruction programme. The Fund has paid out 689 compensation claims for damage caused by the earthquake with a total value of HRK 35,827,981.

In addition, the Fund has received 101 interim decisions and 132 conclusions from the Ministry requesting the Fund to determine the facts related to the administrative process of reconstruction applications.

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Friday, 3 September 2021

Construction of Family Houses in Earthquake-Hit Areas to Start on 1 November

ZAGREB, 3 Sept 2021 - The Central State Office for Reconstruction and Housing will on Friday publish a tender for the construction of family houses, which is the first step in the structural reconstruction of houses in Sisak-Moslavina County, hit by a strong earthquake on 29 December 2020, Večernji List daily said on Friday.

Interested contractors will be able to apply over the next 30 days, with bids that fit one of the two envisaged models of construction - prefabricated or classically built houses, and the contracting procedure and construction work is expected to start on 1 November, Gordan Hanžek, State Secretary at the Central State Office for Reconstruction and Housing told the daily.

He explained that houses would be rebuilt mostly on land plots owned by people whose properties were destroyed or damaged beyond repair in the earthquake.

"There are more than 1,000 such properties in the entire earthquake-hit area," Hanžek said, adding that houses for two-member households would have an area of 55 square metres, those for three or four-member households would measure 70 square metres and those for households with five or more members 85 square metres, in line with the Reconstruction Act.

He noted that the duration of construction work would depend on the type of house chosen.

This will help provide accommodation, in a foreseeable time, for people currently staying in housing containers, Hanžek said, noting that currently 4,776 people were staying in 14 container settlements but that there were also 2,195 housing containers located by earthquake victims' homes, Večernji List said.

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Friday, 27 August 2021

520 People to Be Hired for Public Works to Remove Quake Damage in Sisak County

ZAGREB, 27 Aug 2021 - The government has allocated 19.4 million kuna (€2.6 million) for a public works programme for the removal of consequences of the December 2020 quakes in Sisak-Moslavina County, whereby 520 people will be employed.

Labour Minister Josip Aladrović presented the programme in Sisak on Friday, noting that these public works would contribute to the positive trends on the labour market and economic recovery.

"This is one of the measures which the government and the ministry have been implementing since the (December 2020) earthquakes. Apart from this activity, the government has disbursed 300 million kuna to 3,000 employers in this area for grants to 15,000 employees," Aladrović said.

War Veterans' Affairs Minister Tomo Medved, who heads the task force dealing with the aftermath of last year's earthquakes in the Banovina area of central Croatia, said employment in public works would contribute to the economic revitalisation of the area.

The measure is part of a set of measures and programmes the government has been implementing in cooperation with the county and local authorities, he said.

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Tuesday, 29 June 2021

President Zoran Milanović Holds Working Meeting With Croatian Mountain Rescue Reps

ZAGREB, 29 June, 2021 - President Zoran Milanović held a working meeting on Tuesday with members of the HGSS mountain rescue service, with its leaders informing him of the HGSS's structure and the way it provides assistance to people in areas affected by earthquakes and floods.

They also informed Milanović of the preparations for the tourism season, saying that each year, the HGSS has a large number of interventions, the President's Office said in a press release.

HGSS is a voluntary, non-profit, humanitarian, national service, it was said at the meeting. It conducts rescue operations but its mission also includes prevention and education. The service numbers 1,100 members, and they are all volunteers who annually conduct about 1,000 interventions throughout Croatia.

HGSS was founded in 1950 and it marks its day on 15 June, the Feast of St. Bernard, the patron saint of mountain climbers and mountain rescuers.

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Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Croatian PM Andrej Plenković Satisfied With World Bank Support in Post-Quake Reconstruction

ZAGREB, 15 June, 2021 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Tuesday expressed satisfaction with the World Bank's support to Croatia's efforts to reconstruct the areas hit by the 2020 quakes, and with cooperation in projects aimed at facilitating the recovery of the private sector's exporters affected by the corona crisis. 

A press release issued by the government notes that the premier held a meeting with World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia, Anna Bjerde, and a few other WB officials in Government House.

On that occasion, Plenković expressed satisfaction with the cooperation with the World Bank and the support that institution had provided to Croatia in the reconstruction since the earthquakes had struck Zagreb and Sisak-Moslavina County in March and December 2020.

He was quoted as saying that he was satisfied with the permanent cooperation in projects aimed at helping exporters in the private sector to recover from the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

The prime minister in particular thanked the World Bank for its support until now in preparing Croatia's 2021-2026 National Recovery and Resilience Plan. He underscored the importance of fostering further cooperation and the implementation of projects for Zagreb's reconstruction and revitalisation of the Banovina area in Sisak County, the press release said.

In June last year the World Bank approved two $500 million projects to provide urgent support to the government in an attempt to relieve the impact of the tremors that hit Croatia and of the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The World Bank also provided technical support in preparing a Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (RDNA 2020), which was an important document to mobilise €683.7 million from the EU Solidarity Fund. The World Bank also provided technical assistance in the RDNA for the earthquake-struck areas in Sisak-Moslavina County.

Bjerde was accompanied at the meeting by World Bank's Country Director for the European Union Gallina Andronova Vincelette, the World Bank's new country manager in Croatia Jehan Arulpragasam, and Special Assistant at World Bank Group Fanny Weiner.

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Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Elementary School in Vrpolje Damaged in 4.7 Magnitude Earthquake

ZAGREB, 8 June, 2021 - The 80-year-old elementary school in Vrpolje near the coastal city of Šibenik, which was the epicentre of a 4.7 magnitude earthquake that struck on Tuesday morning, was damaged, suffering cracked walls and part of the ceiling on the first floor caving in.

The school's deputy principal Stipe Komadina said that structural engineers were expected later today to determine the condition of the school.

About 60 children attend the elementary school in Vrpolje. Lessons will be held in the school today and all the children have been instructed of what to do in the event of an aftershock.

The earthquake measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale hit the Šibenik are at 5.59 a.m. on Tuesday. The epicentre was in the Vrpolje area, some 13 kilometres southeast of the city, the Croatian seismology service said.

The national railway operator Hrvatske Željeznice said that traffic between Knin and Split and between Knin and Šibenik was suspended pending completion of an inspection of the railway lines. Traffic resumed later in the morning after no damage was found.

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Friday, 30 April 2021

FM Gordan Grlić Radman: "Cooperation Between Croatia And Italy Reinforced"

ZAGREB, 30 April, 2021 - Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said in Petrinja on Friday that the cooperation between Zagreb and Rome has been reinforced bilaterally and trilaterally, thanking Italy for its latest aid following last year's earthquake.

At a working meeting at the "Colonel Predrag Matanović" barracks in Petrinja, the ministers talked about Southeast Europe and agreed that EU enlargement to the Western Balkans is a guarantee of strengthening the stability of the neighbourhood and Europe as a whole, the Croatian minister said.

Both ministers visited Bosnia and Herzegovina in recent weeks, and Croatia and Italy together strive for a stable and institutionally functioning Bosnia and Herzegovina and for its Euro-Atlantic integration, Grlić Radman said.

The ministers discussed Croatia's non-paper on Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was agreed with Slovenia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Greece and Cyprus.

The document stresses the importance of Bosnia and Herzegovina's Euro-Atlantic path and says that it must remain at the centre of EU's attention. It underscores that the country's membership in the EU is a priority and an aspiration, and in order to achieve it, a comprehensive transformation of the entire society is needed.

The topic will also be discussed during the debate on the Western Balkans on 10 May at the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, Grlić Radman announced.

The cooperation between Croatia and Italy has been strengthened in a trilateral format with Slovenia, the Croatian minister said, recalling last week's meeting of the two ministers with their Slovenian counterpart Anže Logar. Last week, the three ministers signed a joint statement on the protection of the northern Adriatic in the Slovenian mountain resort of Brdo Pri Kranju.

The next meeting should take place in Croatia in June, Grlić Radman said.

The Coordinating Committee of Ministers met in late November 2020 and guidelines for the development of bilateral relations were agreed then. In several months, it will be possible to check how much those forms of cooperation have improved, Italian minister Di Maio said.

Croatia expects Italian tourists in summer

Grlić Radman said that Croatia was committed to the safety and health of visitors and tourism workers, especially through the Safe Stay in Croatia project, so he is convinced of the return of Italian tourists.

"We believe that this year we will accommodate many Italian friends again," Grlić Radman said.

He thanked Italy one more time for its selfless help, which he sees as another indicator of closeness and cooperation.

Italy on Friday donated to Croatia containerised housing units for the accommodation of 50 families who had lost their homes in the earthquake that hit Banija at the end of last year.

Italy was among the first countries to help Croatia by sending 100 military tents immediately after the 29 December earthquake which affected Petrinja, Sisak and their environs the most, and shortly thereafter Italy sent members of the Blue Helmets of Culture to help salvage the artistic heritage affected by the earthquake.

Italy itself faced devastating earthquakes in the recent past, so it decided to help immediately, Di Maio said.

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Tuesday, 6 April 2021

New, 4.6 Magnitude Quake Hit Sisak Area

ZAGREB, 6 April, 2021 (Hina) - An earthquake measuring 4.6 degrees on the Richter scale rocked the areas of Sisak and Petrinja just before 11am Tuesday, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre said.

The epicentre of the quake, which occurred at 10.54am, was 24 kilometres south of Sisak.

The newest quake coincide with the 354th anniversary of the most devastating earthquake ever recorded in Croatia which hit Dubrovnik in 1667. The intensitiy of that quake was IX on EMS98 scale.

For more about earthquakes in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Fairly Strong Earthquake Registered in the Adriatic

ZAGREB, 30 March, 2021 - A fairly strong earthquake was recorded at 9.35 am in the Adriatic Sea with its epicentre some 60 kilometres south of Vis Island, the Croatian Seismology Service said on Tuesday.

The service reported that the earthquake measured 4.2 on the Richter scale and had an intensity in the epicentre of V-VI degrees on the EMS scale.

For more about earthquakes in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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