Saturday, 30 January 2021

First Container Homes to be Set up at Petrinja Container Settlement on Wednesday

ZAGREB, 30 January, 2021 - A spokesman for the task force dealing with the aftermath of the 29 December earthquake in Sisak-Moslavina County has said that the first housing containers that will constitute a temporary settlement for earthquake victims in that county will be set up in Petrinja on Wednesday.

In an interview with Croatian Radio on Saturday, spokesman Mladen Pavić said that the demolition of buildings found unfit for use would start today.

Intensive work has been underway at Petrinja's Sajmište location for a few days and I expect the first container homes to also be set up there on Wednesday, Pavić said, adding that more container homes would be set up and connected to the necessary infrastructure as the ground was prepared.

He noted that by Friday 1,025 containers and prefab houses had been set up and that in the coming days everyone in need of temporary accommodation would be provided with a housing container.

"Those who needed it the most have already been provided with housing containers," he said.

Pavić said that the Commodity Stockpiles Directorate had announced the provision of about 400 more housing containers and that 111 were expected to arrive as part of international aid. That will help fully meet the need for around 1,500 containers, he said.

So far 45,187 facilities have been reported damaged and structural engineers have inspected 27,200, Pavić said.

Friday, 29 January 2021

Samsung Electronics Adriatic Donates to Croatian Red Cross for Quake-Hit Areas

January 29, 2021 - As a global and socially responsible company that actively participates in the local community's life, to help the earthquake-affected areas, Samsung Electronics Adriatic donated 150,000 kunas to the Croatian Red Cross.

Due to the strong earthquake that hit Banovina at the end of 2020, including the towns of Petrinja, Sisak, and Glina and the surrounding area, many lost their homes and property. A month after the 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit Sisak-Moslavina County, donations do not stop coming from all sides. Samsung Electronics Adriatic also decided to make a contribution and, together with its employees, made a financial donation to the Croatian Red Cross to help earthquake-affected areas.

Samsung responded to the Red Cross's appeal with this donation to help the residents of the affected areas, to provide them with the necessary assistance and decent living conditions.

"As an international company that actively participates in the daily life of the local community, Samsung has decided to donate 150,000 kunas to the Croatian Red Cross, which is currently working on collecting humanitarian aid, so that all affected citizens get the help they need. An additional contribution to this donation was provided by the company's employees, who donated their own funds. At Samsung Electronics Adriatic, we think globally and act locally," said the newly elected President of Samsung Electronics Adriatic Hyoung Min. Park.

Samsung Electronics Adriatic operates in eight countries in the region. These include Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, and Northern Macedonia. It sets new standards in the world of televisions, smartphones, wearables, tablets, digital home devices, network systems, as well as solutions in the areas of memory, LSI systems, and LED devices.

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Monday, 25 January 2021

Petrinja Quake to Bring Into Question Nuclear Waste Disposal Site at Trgovska Gora?

ZAGREB, 25 January, 2021 - The devastating earthquake that hit Sisak-Moslavina County and the town of Petrinja on 29 December serves as a warning of how much that area is prone to earthquakes and plans for the construction of a radioactive waste disposal site in that part of Croatia should be reconsidered.

This was stated during a debate in the Bosnia and Herzegovina parliament on Monday, with Snježana Cvijić Amulić, who is the Republika Srpska Seismological Institute's official in charge of observational seismology, said that the energy released by the earthquake that struck Petrinja was such that the existing projections of seismic activity would have to be revised both on the Croatian and the Bosnian side of the border.

"We can no longer talk about the maximum eight but the maximum nine degrees on the Mercalli scale (in) the most critical seismic location," Cvijić Amulić said during the debate, organised by the Greens parliamentary group.

The debate was yet another event held as part of a campaign in Bosnia and Herzegovina geared towards preventing the construction of the radioactive waste disposal site at Trgovska Gora in Dvor municipality, near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The underground storage facilities that are part of the former Čerkezovac barracks should be repurposed for the storage of low and medium radioactive waste.

As of 2020 the management of the former barracks has been within the remit of the Croatian Fund for financing the decommissioning of the Krško Nuclear Power Plant (NEK) and the disposal of NEK radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel.

That fund has been tasked with determining if the location is suitable for that purpose by making an environmental impact study, to include geological, geohydrological, geomorphological, ecological, seismological and other exploratory activities.

Only if the research shows that the project will not have a negative impact on the environment will the procedure be launched to obtain a building permit.

The Croatian towns of Dvor and Petrinja, too, have opposed the project.

BiH Foreign Trade and Economy Minister Staša Košarac said today that in the worst-case scenario his country could seek international arbitration.

Saturday, 16 January 2021

3.5 Magnitude Earthquake Jolts Petrinja

ZAGREB, 16 January, 2021 - A moderate earthquake, measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale, jolted the Petrinja area of central Croatia at 10.59 am on Saturday, the country's seismological service said.

The epicentre of the tremor was 11 kilometres west of Petrinja, about 45 kilometres southeast of Zagreb. The intensity at the epicentre was IV-V degrees on the EMS scale.

The earthquake was also felt in Zagreb.

Friday, 15 January 2021

Another Fairly Strong Earthquake Rocks Petrinja

ZAGREB, 15 January, 2021 - The Croatian seismological service registered another fairly strong earthquake near the central town of Petrinja on Friday, measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale. 

Seismographs recorded the tremor at 13.01 hours about 17 kilometres west of Petrinja with a magnitude of 4.1 on the Richter scale. Its intensity at the epicentre was V degrees on the EMS scale.

A moderate tremor of 3.1 on the Richter scale was registered near Petrinja during the night as well, with the intensity at the epicentre of IV degrees on the EMS scale.

Since midnight, a total of eight tremors have been registered in the Petrinja area with magnitudes of between 2 to 3 on the Richter scale. Those were aftershocks.

Friday, 15 January 2021

Moderate Quake Rocks Petrinja

ZAGREB, 15 January, 2021 - A moderate earthquake measuring 3.1 on the Richter scale was registered at 2.50 a.m. on Friday near Petrinja, the Croatian Seismological Survey reported.

The epicentre of the quake was 11 kilometres west-northwest of Petrinja.

Since midnight on 15 January another eight tremors measuring between 2 and 3 on the Richter scale were registered in the area, which was hit by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake on 29 December which claimed seven lives and caused extensive material damage.

Monday, 11 January 2021

Natural Disaster Declared for Krapinske Toplice Due to Quake

ZAGREB, 11 January, 2021 - Krapina-Zagorje County prefect Zeljko Kolar on Monday declared a natural disaster for Krapinske Toplice municipality where damage from the 29 December earthquake in the Petrinja area has been estimated at over HRK 4.2 million.

Speaking to the press in Krapinske Toplice, Kolar said the tremor caused "very big damage" to the local primary school and that the medical rehabilitation hospital and homes also sustained damage.

Municipal head Ernest Svazic said the damage to the primary school was HRK 2 million.

By 8 January, 36 homeowners reported damage to their buildings.

27 county schools damaged in earthquake

Kolar said 23 primary and four secondary schools in the county had reported damage from the 6.2 earthquake.

As for the medical rehabilitation hospital in Krapinske Toplice, he said the damage was not structural and that it did not affect its work.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

Monday, 11 January 2021

Medved: Accommodation Process to be Realised in Next 20 Days

ZAGREB, 11 January, 2021 - The head of the task force for dealing with the aftermath of the 29 December quake, Minister Tomo Medved, on Monday expressed hope that the process of accommodating inhabitants of the quake-hit area in mobile homes and housing containers would be realised in the following 20 days.

Speaking for Croatian Radio, Medved said that the programme for the purchase and provision of mobile homes and containers had started on the second day after the devastating earthquake and that there were 369 of them in the quake-hit area of Sisak-Moslavina County today.

He also said that 299 mobile homes had arrived yesterday, as organised by the government and the task force, and 70 more were expected during today.

According to him, 1,500 mobile homes and housing containers are needed.

Medved said that 20 housing units had already been set up at the brickyard in Petrinja and people had moved into them, and the same had been done in Sisak's Sajmiste Street and at the parking lot of Sisak's Segesta football club, where 35 units had been set up.

It was announced that Sisak's hotel Panonia would also be reconstructed to accommodate the population, and by the end of the week temporary accommodation should be available.

Medved said that another 222 people were accommodated in Petrinja's barracks.

He said that the state-owned company Pleter had started preparing and delivering food and thanked all hospitality workers who had been preparing food for the past two weeks.

It is up to the municipalities and cities, he added, to provide data on a daily basis on food needs, delivery locations, and the person in charge of food distribution.

"You can rest assured that no one will be left without a meal," he said, announcing that the process with hospitality workers will continue as long as they can and want to.

Medved said that due to the snow and low temperatures, services and volunteers had stepped up visits to all settlements and were handing out sleeping bags, blankets and all necessary materials so that people could overcome these difficulties as easily as possible.

Monday, 11 January 2021

Magnitude 3.1 Aftershock Jolts Petrinja Area

ZAGREB, 11 January, 2021 - An aftershock measuring 3.1 on the Richter scale rocked the Petrinja area at 9.35 a.m. on Monday, the Croatian Seismological Survey said.

A magnitude 3.9 aftershock jolted the area at half past midnight as well.

The Petrinja area was hit by a devastating magnitude 6.2 tremor on 29 December which killed seven and caused enormous damage.

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Croatian Radiotelevision Story from 1998 Tells the Tale of Reconstruction of Strašnik

January 6, 2021 – A Facebook post started making the rounds in Croatia today, where archival footage from the village of Strašnik in 1998 is shown, where the concerns about the quality of the construction work after the Homeland war is questioned.

You can see the video in question below:

The video is from an extremely popular Croatian Radiotelevision show called “The Fruits of the Land” (Plodovi zemlje), which is the longest-running TV show on national television – it has been continuously broadcast since 1958. In the Nineties, the show was hosted by the extremely popular host Ivo Lončar, who has since passed away, but who produced the segment in question.

In the introduction to the segment, we are briefly told the story of Strašnik village, which is a village most people in Croatia had not really heard of before December 29th, 2020, when it was the epicentre of the disastrous earthquake. During the Homeland war of the early Nineties in Croatia, the occupying forces burned most of the homes in the village and forced the (mostly Croatian) people living there to flee their homes. After the success of Operation Storm in August of 1995, and in the spring of 1996, the return of the villagers began. Unfortunately, Ivo Lončar says in the piece, the return was not as efficient as was promised to them – as evidenced by the fact that out of the 400 people living in the village before 1991, only about a hundred of them returned before 1998, when the segment was produced. Before the war, most of those 400 people lived mostly off the land, most of them had cows and sold milk.

The people of Strašnik told the story of the state-funded and managed project of the reconstruction of their homes, stressing that the project started off on the wrong foot. The construction work itself was performed by the Krs company (the segment says it’s from Zagreb, but other sources say that the company was from Osijek), and the oversight was performed by the Sirać company. Back in 1998, when the segment was made, the people of the village told the reporter that the quality of the work performed was extremely low, This was at the moment when more than 70% of the houses in the village has been completed. 30 percent of the homes were never rebuilt, and the electricity was re-installed in the village in 1998, two years after the beginning of the project.

The people of the village publicly accused the head engineer, who led the project of rebuilding the homes in Strašnik, of open corruption. A villager (Stjepan Prašnjak from the local administration) explains to the reporter that they had come in contact with him personally and tried explaining to him that many odd things were happening during the construction phase, including the example in which the entire foundation of a house was built using 5 sacks of concrete. The same person also told the story of a villager who had returned to their home, went to sleep during the night and was awakened by the sounds of something breaking, crashing, only to discover that his chimney was crashing down!

Mr. Prašnjak then explained that the people of the village had tried complaining to numerous instances, both on the local, county level, and also on the national level through the Ministry in charge of the reconstruction of Croatia after the war. The replies they received were mostly that the problems will be fixed on the field, and that the company performing the construction work would have to foot the bill for any irregularities. Back in 1998, he added that nothing has been done to fix any problems.

The reporter continued to explain that the low-quality materials were used in the construction (concrete, brick, iron, roofing tiles), and the work performed was also bad. To prove the inferior quality of the work, the fact that in the first winter after the work was completed, in 1996, when the first snow came, 5 or 6 chimneys came down on their own, plaster started coming down on various houses etc. The windows and the doors were of very low quality, as well as plumbing and electricity installations. Ivo Lončar said outright that the reconstruction of the houses was plagued by the smuggling of the construction materials. Stjepan Prašnjak adds that the person who was in the village representing the company took bribes from the villagers, stating that there are witnesses who can corroborate that.

Most of the houses and the outbuildings were reconstructed by the villagers themselves, who invested their own funds into that. They felt bitter that they weren’t supported by the state more in that. The segment continued to explain the economic situation in the village, where there was only one tractor in 1998, and they were not given any financial support for the planting season.

Ivica Perković from the village told the story of his return to the village, which took place in 1998. First of all, he complained about the state of his house and said that it was impossible to return if you don’t have a house. He continued to say that both the speed and the quality of the reconstruction was not satisfactory. To prove his point, he stated that the works on his house had started in 1996, and that they were still not finished in 1998. He had complained about that fact to the Ministry, who responded to his complaints, but nothing had changed. He then explained that he had 5 cows, which he got milk from for sale, and some pigs, and that agriculture was the only way to make their living in the village.

Nikola Starešinović from the village told his story later in the segment, where he explained how, after his house had been rebuilt, it was discovered that the foundation of his new home had not been done properly. The foundation of his house was crumbling away (you can see that yourself around the 9:30 mark of the segment). He had complained about that to the institutions in charge, and the overseer came to his house and issued the recommendation of what needed to be done to fix the problem – and it was never done! He explained that he had no idea who else to complain to, to have his house fixed properly. He then continued to explain his life as a new farmer in the region.

Josip Šubić told the example of a house which had supposedly been reconstructed, where the water installations and the water heater had been installed, while at the same time the house didn’t have the doors or the windows. He added that when the people in charge of the oversight arrive in the village, they kept saying that the work is doing great.

The segment finishes on a very pessimistic note, with a villager saying that he regretted returning to the village and that he understood why young people were not coming back. The other one explained how and why people of the village were disappointed. Ivica Perković tried to give an optimistic view of the situation, saying that he loved the village and that more and more people were returning to it.

Ivo Lončar concluded the segment by stating that the reconstruction in Strašnik was officially finished, that the workers and the machinery had left the village. What remained were unfinished houses, even those finished are of low quality, people were sad and disappointed, the outhouses were never built by the state, there is no production of anything in the village, and he asks for how much longer the people of Strašnik need to suffer.

In 2021, the only thing we can say is – unfortunately, their suffering is far from over.

For more on the Petrinja earthquake and to see how you can donate money, food, humanitarian, sanitary, and material aid, follow our dedicated section.

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