Monday, 24 January 2022

President Talks with Croatian Earthquake Engineering Centre Representatives

ZAGREB, 24 Jan 2022 - President Zoran Milanović on Monday received representatives of the Croatian Earthquake Engineering Centre (HCPI) for talks on the state of buildings damaged in the 2020 earthquakes in Zagreb and the Banovina region.

HCPI was established last October and has become one of the fundamental operative forces within the Civil Protection Directorate, the president's office said in a press release.

HCPI representatives told the president their engagement is envisaged after major natural disasters when a larger number of structures is damaged and rapid response is required from engineers to professionally inspect the structures and provide a rapid evaluation of their usability.

They also talked about the state of buildings and houses damaged in the 2020 earthquakes as well as the importance of quality post-earthquake construction and reconstruction.

After the March 2020 quake in Zagreb, Zagreb Faculty of Civil Engineering professor and HCPI coordinator Josip Atalić brought together structural engineers who visited the damaged buildings and houses, did quick checks and issued stickers denoting their usability.

HCPI engineers inspected 25,580 buildings in the Zagreb area at that time, and another 813 buildings since.

HCPI representatives said they self-organised after the Zagreb earthquake and visited the area because there was no earthquake plan. They did the same after the earthquake in December 2020 in Sisak-Moslavina County, with 1,700 engineers volunteering in the inspections.

Thursday, 13 January 2022

HRK 14.3 Million for Natural Disaster Relief

ZAGREB, 13 Jan 2022 - In 2021 the government allocated HRK 14.3 million for relief from the consequences of natural disasters, with HRK 640,000 of the amount going to 14 municipalities and cities in Zagreb County.

Natural disasters were proclaimed in April and July in Zagreb Cunty when frost and sleet caused huge damage to agricultural crops, county authorities recalled.

Government aid for 14 counties

Last year natural disasters in Croatia ranged from sleet, icy rain, frost, drought, and hurricane winds.

The government allocated support for as many as 154 cities and municipalities in 14 counties.

The highest amounts were allocated to Virovitica-Podravina County (HRK 5.5 mn), Bjelovar-Bilogora County (HRK 3.5 mn), and Koprivnica-Križevci County (HRK 1.2 mn).

Damage caused by natural disasters last year valued at more than HRK 2.1 billion

Of the total of HRK 14.3 million allocated as support, HRK 13.9 million was paid to compensate for damage to crops while a small portion or HRK 357,000 was paid for damage caused to buildings.

According to official data, last year natural disasters caused damage exceeding HRK 2.1 billion.

Damage reported to agricultural crops was estimated at HRK 975 million, while damage to buildings and municipal infrastructure amounted to HRK 1.1 billion.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 30 December 2021

Seismologist Kresimir Kuk Talks Earthquakes as Petrinja Ground Still Moves

December the 30th, 2021 - Is the Republic of Croatia experiencing more earthquakes and tremors than before? With the natural disaster which struck Petrinja on the 29th of December 2020 now one entire year behind us, seismologist Kresimir Kuk seeks to explain a few things about one of Mother Nature's most unpredictable and devastating events - earthquakes.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, one year and one day ago, the Central Croatian region of Banovina was hit by a devastating earthquake of magnitude 6.2 on the Richter scale with an epicentre located a mere 5 kilometres southwest of Petrinja. A year later the ground is still shaking and Petrinja is still suffering terribly as a result.

''The expected usual phenomenon that follows after each strong earthquake has shown itself to be true, a series of subsequent earthquakes have been going on for a long time in Petrinja now. The stronger the main earthquake, the longer the subsequent series lasts, and it contains earthquakes that are stronger considering the strength of the main one,'' Kresimir Kuk, a well known Croatian seismologist, pointed out when in conversation with HRT.

''The southern coast, in fact the whole of southern Croatia is seismically more endangered than the rest of Croatia is, stronger earthquakes are possible there. In a longer period of time there are earthquakes that are also more frequent. There may be earthquakes which strike with an intensity of about 7 on the Richter scale down in Dubrovnik, and they've happened in the past,'' added Kresimir Kuk.

''Now they're monitored more in this country, and when looking at some sort of longer period of time, then no, we couldn't really say that global seismic activity on earth has intensified. There are always periods when such activity is more pronounced and when it's weaker, both in this country and everywhere else. The fact is that now after these earthquakes, both in Zagreb and Petrinja, earthquakes that are located much further away from us are being reported in the media,'' explained seismologist Kresimir Kuk.

Earthquakes in the rest of the world

Kresimir Kuk noted that recent earthquakes over in Japan, where their magnitude is a horrifying 8 on the Richter scale aren't at all uncommon for the area, but that such countries also have infrastructure adapted entirely to it, so it doesn’t usually cause much damage to a lot of people living there.

"I had the opportunity to talk to the Chilean media after the Croatian earthquakes struck, and they were terribly surprised by the horrible consequences of a 6.2 magnitude earthquake," he said, adding that earthquakes in places such as Chile are much, much stronger, that there are several parameters that are different, such as the depth of the earth where the earthquake occurs because the epicentre is closer to the surface, and in such cases the more devastating the earthquake is, and a couple of other geographical factors.

A seismological network here in Croatia is being set up...

''We installed the network as soon as we got it all through a government intervention, immediately after the series of Petrinja earthquakes. They record a lot of earthquakes, and they record data which is of great importance that will be used in the coming decades in various scientific disciplines, not just seismology. So far, in the wider Petrinja area, so in the Banovina area, we've recorded about 1,400 earthquakes of magnitude greater than 2. There have been two earthquakes of magnitude 5, about 17 earthquakes of magnitude between 4 and 5, so a huge amount of earthquakes have taken place and a large amount of data hasn't been processed,'' he explained.

''The soil in the Petrinja area is still very active, it is now beginning to calm down, but this is simply a process that lasts and is not uniform,'' warned seismologist Kresimir Kuk.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Monday, 20 December 2021

Croatia's Interior Ministry Procures Earthquake Simulator

ZAGREB, 20 Dec 2021 - The Croatian ministry of the interior has commissioned an earthquake simulator that can simulate the ground motion of earthquakes up to intensity 9 on the Mercalli scale, the Večernji List daily reported on Monday.

The purpose of that container, worth HRK 3.3 million (€440,000) without Value Added Tax, is to enable participants in exercises that take place in such containers to experience various sorts of tremors.

The interior of the container is furnished with movable objects which can be found in an ordinary living room, and sound effects typical for earthquakes will also be simulated during exercises.

The objects in the container are non-breakable so that participants in earthquake simulation exercises cannot be injured.

The procurement of the earthquake simulation room is part of the ministry's project aimed at efforts to reduce the risks of natural disasters, the daily newspaper reported.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 14 November 2021

Magnitude 3.0 Quake Jolts Petrinja Area

ZAGREB, 14 Nov, 2021 - The Croatian Seismological Service registered an earthquake measuring 3.0 on the Richter scale with the epicentre near Petrinja at 1217 hours on Sunday.

The Banovina region was devastated by a string of earthquakes in late December 2020. The disaster struck on 28 December 2020, when three tremors rocked the region, measuring 5.0, 4.7 and 4.1 on the Richter scale. They were a precursor to a 6.2 earthquake that hit the following day, leaving extensive property damage and seven people killed. The region was shaken by over 900 aftershocks over the next two and a half months.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 13 November 2021

Two Moderate Earthquakes Jolt Glina Area

ZAGREB, 13 Nov, 2021 - Two moderate earthquakes jolted the Glina area of central Croatia shortly after 11pm on Friday, the Croatian Seismological Service reported.

Their epicentres were four kilometres north-northeast of Glina, about 70 kilometres south of Zagreb.

The first tremor, measuring 3.2 on the Richter scale, was registered at 11.09pm and was followed by a magnitude 3.5 tremor at 11.21pm.

The Banovina region was devastated by a string of earthquakes in late December 2020. The disaster struck on 28 December 2020, when three tremors rocked the region, measuring 5.0, 4.7 and 4.1 on the Richter scale. They were a precursor to a 6.2 earthquake that hit the following day, leaving extensive property damage and seven people killed. The region was shaken by over 900 aftershocks over the next two and a half months.

For Croatia's latest news, CLICK HERE.

 

Sunday, 7 November 2021

Valamar Hotel Company Provides Earthquake Victims With Furniture, Appliances

ZAGREB, 7 Nov 2021 - A shipment of well-preserved used furniture from hotels of the Valamar Group will be sent to households damaged in a devastating quake that hit Sisak-Moslavina County in December 2020.

The Corinthia hotel in Baška on the northern Adriatic island of Krk will be refurbished soon and over 3,000 pieces of furniture and household appliances from this hotel will be donated to those in need in the quake-hit areas.

The Red Cross in Sisak will be provided with the largest share of the donation, the Valamar hotel company said this week.

In the aftermath of the disaster, Valamar sent mobile homes and provided accommodation for people left homeless by the 6.4-magnitude quake. It is one of the 12 hotel companies within the HUT Croatian Tourism Association to have provided free holidays on the coast for over 1,000 students and teachers from 13 schools in the earthquake-devastated Sisak-Moslavina County.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Thursday, 30 September 2021

Petrinja Container Business Centre Breathes Life into Post-Quake Town

September 30, 2021 -The New Life Centre is a Petrinja container business centre offering locals the chance to go back to their businesses as the town still awaits the completion of its post-earthquake reconstruction.

The container settlements of Petrinja, the aftermath of the December 29 earthquake, are certainly not a cheery place to live as the locals await the reconstruction of their Central Croatian town to be completed.

The reconstruction process isn't over just yet, but the spark of hope for a new, better life after a tough year can be seen with the opening of the New Life Centre.

''The New Life Centre is a cluster of new, painted containers that have been stacked for months in Petrinja's neighbourhood of Sajmište,'' as described by Miroslav Šantek, the author for the local website PS-Portal. The first traders, workers, and craftsmen have already settled in, happy for a taste of near normality.

PS-Portal states that this idea was suggested by the Voice of Entrepreneurs Association (Udruga Glas Poduzetnika) to the then-mayor of Petrinja, Darinko Dumbovic.

''The idea was accepted, and then work on the infrastructure began. But, in typical Croatian fashion, there are always setbacks. The obvious lack of money slowed down the progress. Then came new town administration and new mayor Magdalena Komes who cooperated with the Croatian Government and got 30 million kuna to continue the construction of the centre,'' explained PS-Portal.

The deadlines, however, have been breached and it is uncertain when the Petrinja container business centre will actually be finished.

Nonetheless, business owners who could no longer wait for the complete conclusion of construction set up their businesses and started to work as the state aid dried out, and they wanted to go back to making a living for their families.

As PS-Portal continues, yesterday's opening morning was cold, but there was joy on that small square of container settlements. Citizens of Petrinja can now enjoy the offer of a big international cosmetic chain, but also smaller shops, a pizzeria, and grill diners run by local entrepreneurs.

Despite the lack of a grand opening due to ongoing construction works, Mayor Komes still visited and talked to entrepreneurs who started their businesses. She explained that the increase of construction material and the lack of construction workers are the reason for delays in the Petrinja container business centre's completion.

''Numerous Petrinja-based entrepreneurs lost their space to work after the earthquake. They worked in containers or in the few rental spaces one could find in the almost destroyed town. This modular centre is designed as a space for everyone who has lost theirs,'' writes Glas Istre.

The December earthquake in Petrinja, as well as the March earthquake in Zagreb, caused lots of problems for the residents of these areas. As TCN previously wrote, after a whole year of slow reconstruction progress, Croatian PM Andrej Plenković promised to speed up the reconstruction processes in September. Back in July, several education institutions got financial support for reconstruction, while museums, such as the School Museum in Zagreb, still awaits help.

The dreadful experience of the earthquake in Sisak, Zagreb, and Petrinja also woke up Croatian artists, such as Miroslav Arbutina Arba. You can see his photos of the Sisak earthquake in the Zagreb Contemporary Art Museum exhibition until October 10.

Not too far from Petrinja is Lonjsko Polje Nature Park, and you can learn more about it in our TC guide

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

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

President Zoran Milanović: "We're Nearing 'Red' Zone With Regard to Zagreb's Reconstruction"

ZAGREB, 29 Sept, 2021 - President Zoran Milanović said on Wednesday that as far as Zagreb's post-quake reconstruction was concerned, the processes "are already entering the red zone", warning that the financial situation in Zagreb is not good because the previous city administration brought it to the edge of the abyss.

"If we are talking about Zagreb's reconstruction we are already entering the red. The financial situation in the City of Zagreb, as far as I have heard, is not good and not because of its current authorities but its previous administration. They invoiced or tried to invoice and give away anything possible over the past years. And in the end, we all know how that ended - the other option won and it is barely making ends meet," said Milanović.

Asked about Zagreb's reconstruction following the 2020 earthquake, Milanović said that it was important for Prime Minister Andrej Plenković to dedicate attention to the issue of Zagreb's finances.

"There is no room for bartering and agreements. The City of Zagreb cannot incur debts above certain levels and the previous authorities have brought it to the edge of the abyss," said Milanović.

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

Saturday, 25 September 2021

Two Schools in Earthquake-Hit Banovina Region to Be Rebuilt With World Bank Loan

ZAGREB, 25 Sept, 2021 - Two schools in the earthquake-struck Banovina region will be built anew with the help of a World Bank loan, the Construction, Physical Planning and State Assets Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

Minister Darko Horvat met earlier this week with visiting World Bank Country Manager for Croatia and Slovenia Jehan Arulpragasam, and the main reason for his visit was a $200 million loan Croatia was given by the World Bank for post-earthquake reconstruction and recovery in the area of Zagreb, hit by a 5.5 earthquake on 22 March 2020, and for strengthening the capacity of the public health system amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Key data on the project and its progress as well as challenges Croatia has been facing in the process of reconstruction were presented at the meeting.

The meeting also focused on Minister Horvat's proposal that the loan should also refer to the construction of two new secondary schools, in Sisak and Petrinja, towns in Sisak-Moslavina County, which was hit by a 6.2 earthquake on 29 December 2020.

Horvat said the meeting discussed the use of resources made available to Croatia to build two schools in Sisak-Moslavina County so as to create conditions for the safe and sustainable education of children in the earthquake-affected area.

Along with the reconstruction of houses and buildings, the reconstruction and construction of schools and medical facilities is one of our main priorities, the minister said.

The meeting was held as part of a five-day working visit of World Bank officials, who visited locations and facilities in Zagreb and in Sisak-Moslavina and Karlovac counties most affected by the earthquake, whose reconstruction is to be financed with the World Bank loan.

The 22 March 2020 earthquake in Zagreb and its surroundings is estimated to have caused damage to buildings in the amount of some HRK 86 billion, which is more than 60% of the state budget.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

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