Thursday, 10 June 2021

Demolition of Private Houses Damaged by Zagreb Earthquake Starts

ZAGREB, 10 June 2021 - The authorities in Zagreb on Thursday started demolishing the first houses, which were given red warning notices due to the extent of the damage they suffered as a result of the 22 March 2020 earthquake.

The demolition started with the removal of a property, owned by the Sunek family, in the northern suburb of Granešinski Novaki.

The head of the post-quake reconstruction fund, Damir Vanđelić, said that the decisions on the demolition of the damaged property and on the reconstruction were within the remit of the Construction Ministry.

He called for the acceleration of the whole process of decision-making and for making joint efforts to step up the reconstruction 446 days after the 5.5 earthquake hit the capital city, killing a girl and causing extensive damage.

For the latest news from Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

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.

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

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake in Šibenik Wakes Up Dalmatia

June 8, 2021 - A 4.7 magnitude earthquake in Šibenik was recorded this morning at 6 am and was felt around Dalmatia. 

Tuesday morning at 5:59, the Seismological Service of the Republic of Croatia recorded a strong earthquake with an epicenter about 13 km southeast of Šibenik. The quake was felt from Senj to Dubrovnik, reports Index.hr.

The magnitude of the earthquake was 4.7 according to Richter, and the intensity in the epicenter of the VI degree of the EMS scale, writes the Seismological Service of the Republic of Croatia.

The European Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) reported earlier that the quake was 4.8 on the Richter scale, and on Twitter users reported that it was short but very strong and woke them.

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The quake was felt in the wider area of Zadar and Šibenik-Knin counties. Citizens from Brodarica and Primošten reported on the EMSC application that the tremor was strong and unpleasant.

Citizens also wrote on social networks that a stronger earthquake was felt, which lasted longer. No damage has been reported so far.

"We had a lot of calls. People call scared, asked us what happened, some thought it was an explosion due to a loud rumble, some are confused. In general, we have no reported significant damage, we have information that in Vrpolje, a piece of rock that broke off from the house hit a car, but no one was injured," the 112 Center told SibenikIN.

"This is a new epicenter compared to those who have been active so far. During the day and in the coming days, we can expect more weak earthquakes in the area," seismologist Mustać told N1.

Due to the inspection of the railway after this morning's earthquake in the Šibenik area, the railway sections Knin - Split and Knin - Šibenik were closed to traffic, the Croatian Railways (HŽ) announced on Tuesday morning.

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

Saturday, 29 May 2021

MEP Zovko Pushes for Croatia's Use of Opportunities from New European Bauhaus

ZAGREB, 29 May 2021 - The new European Bauhaus, an initiative about climate adaptation of the built environment, is an opportunity for Croatia to raise the architectural and living standards, notably in the quake-hit areas, Croatian MEP Željana Zovko told Hina on Saturday.

The idea about a new European Bauhaus was presented by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in her State of the Union speech last year. In her address to the European Parliament on that occasion, she outlined her plan to create a "new European Bauhaus" to kickstart a cultural and sustainable movement in the European Union.

The New European Bauhaus, named after the influential German design school founded by Walter Gropius in 1919, will be part of the €750 billion NextGenerationEU investment and recovery plan put in place following the coronavirus pandemic. 

Zovko, a member of the European Parliament from the ranks of the European People's Party (EPP), says that the initiative "is still in its infancy", however, the purpose is to encourage citizens, experts and professionals to develop their communities in accordance with the principles of energy sustainability and taking spatial planning approach.

The European Union is set to provide financial support to innovative ideas in that regard, with the aim of ensuring the green and digital transformation of aesthetically pleasing structures, according to this Croatian MEP.

Green construction will be the basis of a new vision of cities and rural areas in the European Union, she said.

"The new European vision will satisfy climate neutrality, and at the same make cities and villages tailored to man" she added.

The European Commission has recently published "Renovation Wave", explaining that a refurbished and improved building stock in the EU will help pave the way for a decarbonised and clean energy system, as the building sector is one of the largest energy consumers in Europe and is responsible for more than one third of the EU's emissions.

The EC calls for effective action to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050.

Until 2030, 35 million buildings are supposed to undergo energy efficient renovation.

Thus, the EC aims to double annual energy renovation rates in the next ten years. "These renovations will enhance the quality of life for people living in and using the buildings, reduce Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions, and create up to 160,000 additional green jobs in the construction sector," the EC says on its web site.

New Bauhaus seen as opportunity for post-quake reconstruction of central Croatia

Earlier this year, Zovko sent a request to the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, for expanding the New European Bauhaus initiative to include the safety of construction and architecture, having in mind two devastating earthquakes that hit Croatia in 2020.

Zovko is confident that funds envisaged under the New European Bauhaus scheme could be made available for reconstruction of the quake-affected areas.

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Faculty of Science (PMF) Donation: Five New Laptops For Faculty of Metallurgy in Sisak

May 25, 2021 - Following the issues caused by the earthquake in Petrinja, a Faculty of Science (PMF) donation o the Faculty of Metallurgy in Sisak ensured five laptops for students that need them the most.

The devastating 6.3 earthquake that hit Banovina / Banija on December 29 saw Croatia still have a troubling situation in Petrinja, Baranja, Glina, and other places, which also attracted huge public interest regarding voters mood in those areas on local elections.

The need for help and donations is still for rebuilding and restoring functional infrastructure is still needed, and on top of it all, it's one of the poorest regions in the whole country. Sadly, that also goes for the students of the Faculty of Metallurgy, the University of Zagreb, which is based in Sisak.

As reported by the official website of the Faculty of Science (PMF) at the University of Zagreb, the Metallurgy Faculty dean, dr. Zdenka Zovko Brodarac wrote to PMF asking for a donation for five functional computers for their students of weaker economic status, coming from quake-hit areas. Computers are even more needed due to the coronavirus pandemic; online classes are ever-present in the education of the new generations of Croatian experts and intellectuals.

„PMF knows that the big demands of online learning are put before students, and it's very challenging to deal with that form of learning, particularly for families with lower incomes. To ensure quality participation in online learning, PMF decided to donate five laptops“, informed PMF.

Student representatives and the deans of two faculties were present while receiving computers. Zovko Brodarac thanked them for the computers promising they will find their way to those who need them the most, while PMF dean dr. Mirko Planinić pointed out that he supports all activities regarding education and youth, and overall raising the living standards of people in the area.

PMF is the home to the geophysical department, whose domain of scientific interest also includes earthquakes. Furthermore, within the department operates a Croatian Seismological Survey that collects and analyzes these powerful forces of nature in Croatia – both in their most destructive editions and in unnoticeable ones too. The shocking aftermath saw Croatian authorities taking the threat more seriously, and as TCN reported earlier in 2021, acquiring new equipment for measuring seismic activity that was placed on Petrinja cemetery.

The Metallurgy Faculty in Sisak saw its constitution as an independent unit within the Zagreb University on February first, 1979, while its scientific-educational council was established a year earlier, specifically on November 3rd, 1978. This was an answer to the educational need to meet the industrial development of Sisak, which in Croatia remains a synonym for the heavy industry even today.

The faculty offers education for metallurgy (specializations for metallurgical engineering and industrial ecology on bachelor level), as well as workplace security and health studies (major level), and the course on metallurgy engineering (machinery. shipbuilding, and aircraft).

Did you know that an hour and five minutes drive from Sisak is Lonjsko Polje Nature Park? Learn more on our TC page.

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

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

EP Seeks Easier Access to Solidarity Fund for Regions Struck by Natural Disasters

ZAGREB, 19 May, 2021 - The European Parliament on Tuesday adopted a report on the review of the EU Solidarity Fund and called on the Commission to facilitate the use of aid from the fund for regions struck by natural disasters, noting that 2020 was a great challenge, in particular for Croatia.

The EP pointed to the difficulties faced by beneficiary countries when it comes to determining precise amounts of damage in very short periods of time. It said that climate change and the intensification of natural disasters were making member states increasingly vulnerable and that the EU should speed up aid disbursement to regions affected by natural disasters.

MEPs therefore called on the Commission to explore ways of removing administrative barriers and to demonstrate maximum flexibility in fund allocation.

Parliament called for special attention to be paid to outermost regions, islands and regions prone to seismic or volcanic activity that are the most at risk of natural disasters.

The report was adopted by 668 votes in favour, 10 against and 18 abstentions.

Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit said that 17 member states, including Croatia, and three accession countries had been allocated funds to fight the COVID-19 outbreak.

He noted that Croatia was one of the countries that had been allocated the largest amount of financial aid, given that it was also struck by two strong earthquakes and a series of minor tremors. A total of €683.7 million was disbursed to Croatia already after the first earthquake in 2020. This is the largest amount ever paid out after a natural disaster, he added.

Schmit said that Croatia would take a long time to recover and would need additional funding, adding that this only showed how important the Solidarity Fund was.

The EU Solidarity Fund was established in 2020 to provide aid to member states in the event of major natural disasters and other emergencies.

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

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Monday, 10 May 2021

Slovenia Donates €67,000 to Earthquake-struck Petrinja

ZAGREB, 10 May 2021 - A humanitarian campaign for the children of Petrinja by the Slovenian "Zveza prijateljev mladine Slovenije" NGO and Radio-Television Slovenia have managed to collect €67,000 for the construction of the "Our Children" house in Petrinja in the aftermath of last year's earthquake, the Our Children NGO said on Monday.

Based on the wishes of Petrinja residents, and in particular families with children who wish to remain in the town, the funds were collected to build a prefab house that will be used as a play centre and to provide psychosocial support and entertainment for children, youth and families.

Various events will be organized there, expert and creative workshops, while the funds collected are also earmarked to purchase equipment and other supplies. The house will also provide help with learning and expert psychosocial assistance for children, adolescents, and parents.

The director of Slovenian Television, Natalija Gorščak, said that in the past 50 years Slovenia experienced destructive earthquakes in Kozjansko and Posočje, hence it is aware of the misfortune and powerlessness of people after an earthquake.

"These incidents are very difficult to explain to children and adolescents and it is hard for them to understand. In the hope that their lives will be back to normal as soon as possible, we gladly launched the fund-raising campaign for all of them as part of our December campaign," she said.

A donation agreement, as the first step towards building the house, was signed by Martina Botužić Dževerlija, the president of the Our Children Petrinja NGO, and Darja Groznik, the president of the "Zveze prijateljev mladine Slovenije" NGO from Slovenia.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Monday, 10 May 2021

HOK: More Than 200 Earthquake-affected Trades to Receive HRK 7,000 in Aid

ZAGREB, 10 May (Hina) - The Croatian Chamber of Crafts and Trades (HOK) on Monday said that it was starting to pay out one-off aid in the amount of HRK 7,000 per business to more than 200 trades in areas affected by last year's earthquakes.

HOK recalled that on 31 December 2020 it launched a humanitarian campaign aimed at collecting funds to help those trades whose premises were damaged in last year's earthquakes relaunch their work.

The campaign lasted for three months and included trades from Croatia and abroad, HOK said.

Apart from the one-off aid, a part of the proceeds will be directed to reconstruct the premises of HOK's branch in Sisak-Moslavina County, damaged in the 29 December earthquake.

(€1 = HRK 7.526977)

For more, follow our business section.

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.

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

 

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek Confident of Prompt Reconstruction of Quake-Damaged Monuments

ZAGREB, 8 April, 2021 - Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek said on Thursday the most important thing in the reconstruction of the cultural heritage was to reinforce and repair all monuments in a short time and that the first allocation would help to carry out all urgent works in 18 months.

The first allocation at our disposal is €680 million from the European Solidarity Fund, she told the press, saying that the recently outlined national recovery and resilience plan included reconstruction funds.

Croatia also has at its disposal funds approved by the World Bank, she said, adding that she also expected the approval of an allocation following last December's earthquake in Sisak-Moslavina County.

She said the damage to the cultural heritage in Zagreb following the March 2020 quake was estimated at €7 billion.

The reconstruction of complex monuments such as Zagreb's Mirogoj cemetery would take years and the necessary funds will be raised from various sources, the minister said.

She said her ministry had received more than 130 acceptable reconstruction applications and that contracts had been signed for a little over 40 monuments, including sacral and public buildings.

She added that public procurement was already under way and that over the past year experts from the ministry and Zagreb's faculties of civil engineering, geodesy, and architecture had completed the required documents for all monuments.

The first objective is to reinforce the buildings to prevent them from being a threat and deteriorating, the minister said.

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

 

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