Thursday, 31 December 2020

PHOTOS: Majske Poljane, Glina and Petrinja One Day After The Earthquake

December 31, 2020 – Total Croatia News visited Majske Poljane, Glina and Petrinja one day after the earthquake. It is difficult to find words to describe the devastation we saw. Perhaps pictures tell the story better

Majske Poljane

Majske Poljane is a rural community. Such was the devastation here, it was difficult to tell which of the destroyed buildings had yesterday been used for agriculture or if they'd been homes


TCN's Paul Bradbury talks to Majske Poljane resident Vladimir who confirmed that, yes, the building across the lane had been a home, his neighbours had lived there just 24 hours earlier



Doors of houses left ajar, windows collapsed, smashed and broken. Inside, you can see everyday lives, stopped suddenly, frozen in time





Croatian soldiers quickly constructing emergency shelters in the freezing fog of early morning. They came from all over Croatia. Unsure if their damaged houses were structurally safe, parents and children of Glina, surrounding villages and Petrinja stood in gardens and fields, keeping warm around fires. With no electricity, they cooked on barbecues.


Majske Poljane seemed like the most silent place on earth. No single sound, not even bird song.



Even the three village dogs left behind padded around the wet road in silence


Croatian firefighters walk heavily through the mist-filled streets of Glina





The entire upper floor of this house had collapsed, crushing completely the floor underneath


Volunteers at work on the roofs of two neighbouring houses, between Glina and Petrinja one day after the earthquake. The volunteers had come from all over Croatia

Petrinja one day after the earthquake




Even in the miserably wet winter weather, the greeting sign to Petrinja one day after the earthquake might still have looked cheery, if you couldn't see all the emergency vehicles in the background. 




If you didn't know any better, these might look like damaged derelict buildings. But, 24 hours earlier, these had been a row of thriving storefronts, right in the centre of Petrinja one day after the earthquake







Damage to the train station in Sisak. A considerably larger city than Petrinja one day after the earthquake, not one business we passed was working - no supermarkets, no fast-food restaurants. Nothing. Groups of teenagers roamed the streets with nothing to do and nowhere to go


The Parish church of St. Nikola and Vida, Žažina near Petrinja one day after the earthquake


This is how the church had looked just one day earlier. A couple of metres from the church, remnants of the fire that parishioners had gathered around on Badnjak (Christmas Eve). We later learned that the church organist had been cleaning the organ when the earthquake struck, and tragically he was killed. 


Photo of the Parish church of St. Nikola and Vida, Žažina courtesy of the church, all other photos © Marc Rowlands

Thursday, 31 December 2020

Education Minister: Some Schools Affected by Earthquake Have to Be Rebuilt

December 31, 2020 – After visiting schools in Sisak-Moslavina County on Wednesday, Science and Education Minister Radovan Fuchs estimated that some schools would have to be rebuilt.

Besides, as Hina reports, minister Fuchs said that some schools would be able to be restored.

"The situation in schools is bad. In Petrinja, some schools will have to be completely demolished, and some will be rebuilt. I don't know how fast schools will be rebuilt. A good part will have to be built anew," said the Minister.

More schools require complete construction

In the Sisak-Moslavina County, there are 53 schools (37 primary, 13 secondary, and three music) attended by a total of 14,705 students, and 21 kindergartens attended by 3,489 children. Due to the earthquake, five schools required complete construction, nine were significantly damaged, and 13 schools could be used with repairs.

The earthquake damaged the First Primary School in Petrinja and the High School located next to it. There have been significant collapses there, and they will, therefore, need to be rebuilt.

Although it was first assumed that five schools in the Sisak-Moslavina County would need to be rebuilt, the number is slightly higher. Namely, in addition to the two mentioned Petrinja schools, more schools also require complete construction: the Fran Lhotka Music School Sisak, the Sisak Vocational School, the Farkašić and Letovanić Regional Schools of the Mladost Primary School from Lekenik, the Ivan Goran Kovačić Primary School from Gora, and the Nebojan Regional School.

Students in Sisak won't be able to attend college

The Minister also visited the Glina High School, where the energy renovation has started from the outside, which will most likely be renovated.

In addition to that school, the schools that have significant damage are: the Sisak Gymnasium, Katarina Zrinska Mečenčani Primary School, both Viktorovac Primary and High School, Ivan Kukuljević Primary School, Sisak School of Economics, Budaševo-Topolovac-Gušće Primary School (Topolovac), Dragutin Tadijanović Primary School (Mošćenica Regional School), and Mate Lovrak Primary School in Petrinja.

Many other schools are damaged but have mostly cracked glass, smaller cracks, and broken furniture.

At the Faculty of Metallurgy in Sisak, the University of Zagreb, which is attended by 141 students, the estimated damage is eight million kunas. The estimated damage at the Faculty of Teacher Education, the University of Zagreb, which is attended by 600 students, is 1.5 million kunas. Teaching at both faculties will not be possible until the end of the summer semester.

Fuchs said funds for school reconstruction would be withdrawn from the European Solidarity Fund.

"Preparations need to start immediately so that the reconstruction can begin as soon as the funds are approved," he stressed.

'Luckily there were no children in schools'

When it comes to involving students in teaching, the Minister points out that all options will be examined.

"We will try to see all the options that are most acceptable and best, primarily for students. We will know that when everything is consolidated in a few days," the Minister said, adding that now, it must be identified where the students are.

"Luckily, in the accident, there were no children in the school. Now we will see where they will be accommodated," the Minister said.

Minister Fuchs visited the earthquake-stricken Petrinja, Sisak, and Glina with the County Head of Education Darian Vlahov, Petrinja High School Principal Milan Orlić, Dragutun Tadijanović Primary School Principal Davor Miholjević, Faculty of Teacher Education Dean Siniša Opić, the Vice-Dean Marko Badrić, and Glina High School Principal Marija Novosel.

Follow our live updates on the situation in Croatia's earthquake-hit areas here; find out how you can donate here.

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Prisoners from Sisak and Glina Jails being transferred to other penitentiaries

ZAGREB, Dec 30, 2020 - The prison buildings in Sisak and Glina sustained some damage in Tuesday's earthquake and prisoners are being transferred to other penitentiaries across Croatia, Justice and Public Administration Minister Ivan Malenica said on Wednesday after he visited Sisak.

During his visit to quake-hit areas, Malenica expressed condolences to the family of a prison guard killed in the earthquake as well as to another prison guard whose family member died in the deadly quake that claimed seven lives.

Malenica said that the authorities had promptly responded on Tuesday when the earthquake struck the area and the Sisak prison was immediately evacuated. At the moment of the disaster, there were 60 inmates. They were first evacuated to the yard of the building and later were transported to some other prisons in Zagreb, Bjelovar and Gospic.

There are about 80 inmates in the Glina prison and they are also likely to be transferred to other penitentiary facilities in the course of the day.

Structural engineers who checked the Sisak prison building registered some damage and Minister Malenica said that he could not say yet when the building could be used again.

During yesterday's quake, an inmate in Sisak Prison was slightly injured and was given medical assistance, the Ministry of the Interior said after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck the area on Tuesday.

None of the prisoners and staff at the penitentiary in the nearby town of Glina were injured, the ministry said in a statement yesterday.

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Istria Sends a Convoy of Caravans to Petrinja: 'This Is Just the Beginning'

December 30, 2020 – For the part of the population who have lost a place to sleep, Istria sent a convoy of caravans to Petrinja and other earthquake-ravaged surrounding places.

After the Istrian firefighters went to help the injured in Petrinja and its surroundings yesterday, today Istrians showed a big heart again. Namely, in front of the Žatika hall in Poreč, a convoy of caravans headed towards the earthquake-affected areas.

As reports, the caravan owners from Istria sent 16 of them, equipped, to Petrinja and Glina on Wednesday, so that part of the Petrinja and Glina residents could have a place to sleep.


A convoy of caravans headed from Istria to Petrinja / Photo: the City of Poreč - Parenzo

This humanitarian action was initiated by Denis Bernobić from Poreč, the owner of a local towing service, together with the owner of a small family camp Polidor near Funtana, Adrian Ukušić. According to both of them, whom Jutarnji found in a convoy near Rijeka while transporting the first contingent of houses, this is just the beginning.

"Private owners of caravans responded to the action, and among them are even some Germans who have their caravan in the Bijela Uvala camp near Poreč. They called me and said they were giving their caravan away with all the papers. People immediately started appearing like crazy from all over Istria, so this is only the first contingent," says Bernobić, who set off for Petrinja and Glina on Wednesday together with colleagues with eight trucks, seven jeeps, and two vans.

They are driving caravans directly to people who were left without roofs and slept outside last night, and they have everything – toilets, beds, and heating.


The caravans are equipped with food and drinks / Photo: the City of Poreč - Parenzo

"The caravans are also full of drinks and food. There are even wood and wood stoves inside. The van is full of bedding. Everyone helped us to equip them, and the Red Cross from Poreč and Rovinj were especially active, and I thank them for that," says Bernobić, whose phone keeps ringing.

"They keep calling me across all platforms because people want to give away their caravans. So we will drive towards Petrinja and Glina in the coming days as well. We expect to take about 40 caravans to the affected areas in the next few days. Colleagues from Koper and Slovenia who have a towing service also call me to help us take the campers, "points out Bernobić, who took similar action with Ukušić when Gunja was flooded.

The owner of Polidor was also with him in convoy, and he gave two of his camps. Mayor of Poreč Loris Peršurić also supported Bernobić.

"These are all donations from citizens from all over Poreč and beyond. Poreč Red Cross, local committees, and numerous associations and initiatives still collect all kinds of help. This is an unprecedented tragedy. The minimum we can do is help people whose homes have been destroyed, who are terrified, and whose horrors, unfortunately, are not over yet," Mayor Peršurić told Hina.

 Follow our live updates on the situation in Croatia's earthquake-hit areas here; find out how you can donate here.

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Minister: 150 Soldiers in the Field, 350 on Standby Ready to Help

ZAGREB, Dec 30, 2020 - Defence Minister Mario Banozic said on Wednesday that there were currently 150 troops in the quake-stricken areas in Petrinja, Sisak, and Glina and another 350 were on standby adding that the local barracks would be fully occupied by local residents whose homes were damaged in Tuesday's quake.

"At the moment there are about 150 soldiers in the field in Petrinja, Glina, Sisak, and in all municipalities that expressed their need for help at a meeting of the civil protection authority today. We also have another 350 soldiers on standby," Banozic said during a cabinet meeting.

There are also five helicopters, three are in Petrinja and two in Zagreb to ensure emergency medical transport. The thing that is needed the most today is heavy machinery to remove and demolish hazardous buildings.

He commended the army and civil protection units as well as the homeland security system for their prompt organization to tend to the people. He added that teams were dispersed so that as few of them were housed in the barracks while the others were on standby.

There is room for about 500 people at the Petrinja barracks and Banozic said that last night 315 people were accommodated there, particularly the elderly from aged care facilities. This morning an additional 15 to 20 elderly people arrived in the barracks.

"I have the feeling that the barracks will be filled by this evening because a lot of people did not know how to get to the barracks yesterday and some stayed in their homes not wanting to leave. It started to rain too so I believe that tonight the barracks will be full," he underlined.

Banozic said that the military headquarters building in Zagreb suffered some minor damage in Tuesday's earthquake and that they were waiting for structural engineers to inspect the damage.

 President Zoran Milanovic, who is the supreme commander, on Wednesday toured the quake-hit areas and visited soldiers on the ground.

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Albania Donates €250,000 to Croatia after Earthquake

ZAGREB, Dec 30, 2020 - Albania will donate €250,000 to Croatia for post-earthquake reconstruction, Prime Minister Edi Rama announced on Wednesday.

"Just signed the Government of Albania decree to donate 250k EURO to brotherly Croatia to help the rebirth of Petrinja after the devastating earthquake! Croatia is an example of resilience and a role model for us in its amazing transformation into a proud EU country," Rama tweeted.

A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck Albania in November 2019, claiming 51 lives. On that occasion, Croatia sent rescue teams and search dogs and donated €1 million at a donor conference organized by the European Commission for the reconstruction of hospitals and schools.

The 6.2 quake that struck Croatia's Sisak-Moslavina County on Tuesday killed at least seven and injured dozens, destroying hundreds of houses in Petrinja, Glina, Sisak, and nearby towns and villages.


Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Schools in Sisak, Petrinja and Glina Damaged, Five of them Completely Destroyed

December 30, 2020 – Due to yesterday's devastating 6,3 magnitude eathquake, schools in Sisak, Petrinja and Glina are damaged, and five of them are entirely unusable.

As Hina reports, Minister of Science and Education Radovan Fuchs said today that, in addition to the five unusable schools, nine of them would be able to be repaired, and thirteen will be able to function. Also, Minister Fuchs announced that he and his associates would visit the area today.

More than 5,000 students left without school buildings

"Five schools are completely unusable, nine will be able to be repaired, but serious reconstructions are needed. We have thirteen schools that will be able to function," Minister Fuchs told reporters ahead of a government session at the National and University Library.

Minister added that 3489 students were left without a school building in Sisak, and 1843 students in Petrinja. They will plan on how to organize the classes.

As TCN has learned, the First Primary School in Petrinja, located in the very center of the city, which was hit hard, was utterly demolished. Classes can no longer take place there because the roof of the building has fallen to the first floor of the school.

Petrinja High School's principal says he and three employees were at the school at the time of the earthquake. When the quake struck, the building began to collapse. They moved to a safe place and then went down to the schoolyard. The ground beneath them was still swaying. The walls were damaged and cracked. According to the principal's estimate, the entire school will need significant reparation.

'The return will not be easy'

The earthquake also caused great damage to the High School in Glina.

"At the time of the earthquake, several employees found themselves at the school and, thank God, came out unscathed at the last minute. I am afraid that the return will be neither easy nor so soon. The photos say it all. After visiting most of the classrooms and offices, we will need help," said Glina High School's principal on the school's Facebook page.

She was hit by an earthquake in the center of Glina, 15 minutes after she left her office at the school. Unfortunately, the retired school janitor and his son are among the dead.

The principal of Viktorovac High School in Sisak says the earthquake was really terrible.

Zagreb schools to accept students

As Jutarnji list reports, the head of the Zagreb City Office for Education, Ivica Lovrić, said that yesterday's earthquake did not cause significant damage to school buildings in Zagreb.

"All Zagreb schools will be able to accept students on January 18. The good thing is that after the earthquake in March, we rebuilt most of the damaged school buildings, so we have no major damage after yesterday's earthquake. We hope that the epidemiological situation will be such that in the new semester, we will start with model A, that is, school teaching," said Lovrić.

This morning, the structural engineer visited two regional schools in Brezovica, but apart from minor cracks in the walls, there is no damage.

Sister of Mercy Danijela Dinjar, principal of the Women's General Gymnasium, whose buildings are in Varšavska and Gundulićeva streets in Zagreb, confirms that yesterday's earthquake intensified previous damage that has not yet been fully repaired.

"The once walled door and part of the ceiling above the end wall of the building collapsed. Three classrooms are not for use, so in the second half of the year, we will teach in a building in Varšavska Street, and we will renovate the rest when we have the funds," says the principal, whose school is attended by 214 students this school year.

For more on the Petrinja earthquake, follow today's live updates. For more on how you can help, click here.

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Croatians in Canada Help People Affected by Earthquake in Petrinja

December 30, 2020 – After yesterday's devastating earthquake in Petrinja and Sisak, help comes from another part of the world. Croatians in Canada initiated a fundraiser action GoFundMe and raised over 70,000 dollars so far!

Yesterday's earthquake encouraged people from all over Croatia to collect food and hygiene supplies for people affected by the earthquake, but also to launch much-needed donation actions. Donations started arriving yesterday from neighboring countries (Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Slovenia) and other parts of the world, namely, Canada.

The news of the devastating earthquake centered in Petrinja has galvanized the Croatian community in Canada into action. Mirjana Jerkovic, a very active member of the Croatian community in Canada, organized a GoFundMe fundraiser to collect donations for people affected by Croatia's earthquake.

In less than 24 hours, a GoFundMe fundraiser has raised over 70,000 dollars. This fundraiser is trending in Canada and is currently the 7th largest fundraiser taking place in Canada. Close to 700 people have donated to this worthy cause, from Mississauga, other parts of the Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton, and across Canada.

Mirjana is a long time member of the executive board of the Vatroslav Lisinski Tambura Orchestra of Mississauga, Ontario, and is well known in Croatian folklore circles in Canada. Her husband is a native of Vinkovci.

"Our Canadian-Croatian community is strong and has always helped our Croatian homeland. Let's show our support and donate to those most affected by the horrific earthquake on December 29, 2020. All funds will be donated to families, and we will post delivery! Please share! Bože, čuvaj Hrvatsku," reads her statement at GoFundMe.

Father Marko Štefanec of Holy Cross Croatian parish in Hamilton, Ontario, has produced a video encouraging Croats in Canada to give to those in need due to this earthquake.

"Due to Canadian bureaucracy, it is very difficult for Croatian parishes across Canada to send money outside Canada. Therefore, the best way to help is through these two platforms – fundraisers GoFundMe and Caritas Croatia," says Štefanec in the video below.

You can pay donations via GoFundMe website or through the Caritas Croatia website.

For more, follow today's live updates. To find out how you too can donate money, food, material and humanitarian aid, click here.

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Three New Earthquakes in Croatia Wednesday Morning, One of 4.8 Magnitude

December 30, 2020 - Three new earthquakes in Croatia on Wednesday morning. The latest. reports that at 6:16 AM, a new earthquake shook Croatia. According to the Seismological Service, the first quake was 4.7 on the Richter scale, and the latter 4.8. Another one was also felt, which had a magnitude of 3.9.

“Subsequent earthquakes, 30.12.2020 at 6:15 (M 4.7), 6:26 (M 4.8) and 6:29 (M3.9),” the Seismological Service posted on Twitter.

The head of the Seismological Service told Croatian Radio that the epicenter was near Petrinja.

The earthquake at 6.15 was 4.7 magnitude, and. the later 4.8 with the epicenter in the Petrinja area, said Ines Ivančić, head of the Seismological Service for Croatian Radio.

She confirmed that the ground would continue to shake. "It will, it will shake for a long time, the earthquake on Tuesday was devastating and it will be followed with great certainty by a large series of earthquakes, among which, for sure, there will be stronger ones," she said.

She confirmed that weaker earthquakes, such as this morning, will have an impact on the facilities in Petrinja and Sisak that were damaged in the earthquake on Tuesday. 

She stated that Petrinja has been hit by a "huge amount" of small earthquakes since Monday. It shakes almost every minute, said Ivančić, stating that there were at least 25 to 30 earthquakes stronger than 3.

The first EMSC estimates were somewhat different. According to the European Mediterranean Seismological Center, the earthquake at 6:15 was 4.90 Richter.

Seven people died in Tuesday's earthquake

After yesterday's 6.2 Richter earthquake in Petrinja, several weaker earthquakes were felt. Yesterday's 6.2 magnitude earthquake killed seven people. The material damage is huge, there is almost no building in Petrinja that has not been damaged.

To read more news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Croatians Rally, Offer Free Accommodation For Earthquake Affected

December 29, 2020 – As buildings toppled in Petrinja and Sisak today, Croatian emergency services were quick to respond. They weren't the only ones - the Croatian public has quickly rallied round to offer free accommodation for earthquake affected

The sound of sirens was heard for the second day running in in Sisak-Moslavina County today. Some emergency responders were still on the scene, in Petrinja and Sisak, dealing with the aftermath of yesterday's sizeable earthquake. Though today's was much larger, more sustained and much more devastating, Croatian firemen, police and ambulance services did not blink and occupied themselves with helping wherever it was needed. They weren't the only ones.

marinicoffer.jpgŽeljko and Ružica Marinic of Villa Marinic (pictured) and Apartmani Marinic in Primosten were quick to offer free accommodation for earthquake affected at four free apartments. Their son-in-law David posted the offer - which also includes food and support for families with children - across social media

Less than an hour after today's earthquake, help from private individuals flooded social media pages as Croatia rallied round to offer free accommodation for earthquake affected. Holiday homes across Dalmatia and Istria were readily given up as free accommodation for earthquake affected, many of them making their way to a dedicated Facebook group set up specifically for the purpose.


But, it wasn't just empty holiday villas by the coast that were made available. People across Croatia have offered to open up their own homes to offer free accommodation for earthquake affected. Apartments and sub-apartments in cities across the country have been made available. To offer free accommodation for earthquake affected for tonight and for however long necessary is a timely and generous move by these private citizens – at just after 4.30pm this evening, rain started to pour down on the affected area and those still stuck outside. Support and offers of accommodation came not only from Croatians at home in the country - Croatian National Team footballer Dejan Lovren opened up the doors to the hotel he owns in Novalja, Pag island for those affected by the earthquake in Petrinja.



Recognising the gravity of the situation, Croatian authorities revoked travel restrictions between the country's counties in order to facilitate volunteers and family members travelling to Sisak-Moslavina County today to help out, and to allow residents of the county to take up the offer of free accommodation for earthquake affected.


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