Monday, 28 December 2020

Pokupsko: Initial Estimates Show Property Damage Caused by Earthquake Minimal

ZAGREB, Dec 28, 2020 - There are no casualties at the epicentre of the first of this morning's earthquakes, in Pokupsko municipality, and initial estimates show that the damage to property is minimal, the deputy head of the municipal civil protection team, Jura Skender, told Hina on Monday.

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake struck the area at 6.28 am on Monday. It was followed by two more tremors at 7.49 and 7.51, one measuring 4.7 and the other 4.1 on the Richter scale, with the epicentre 5 km southeast of Petrinja, about 60 km southeast of Zagreb.

There have been no reports of damage to the local primary school. However, an outside staircase detached itself from the children's daycare centre, but there were no children inside at the time of the earthquake, Skender said.

The local church, dating from the 18th century, has also suffered some damage, but at this point it is hard to assess how serious the damage is, he added.

The Sisak Diocese said on its Facebook page on Monday that several churches, chapels and parish houses had suffered substantial damage in the earthquakes. It did not specify the buildings.

Skender said that local residents can report damage on a dedicated telephone number.

He said that Deputy Prime Minister and Veterans' Minister Tomo Medved and Economy Minister Darko Horvat would visit the municipality in the afternoon.

Monday, 28 December 2020

Von der Leyen: EC Following Situation in Croatia After Quakes Ready to Help

ZAGREB, Dec 28, 2020 - European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Monday expressed readiness to help Croatia and told it to stay strong after three strong earthquakes rocked the country this morning.

"Stay strong Croatia! After a powerful earthquake struck this morning, the EU_Commission is in contact with Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and the Croatian authorities. We are following the situation closely and stand ready to help," she tweeted.

Plenkovic thanked von der Leyen and the Commission, saying that Croatia appreciated their support.

"It will be vital as we work to rebuild Sisak, Petrinja and the Sisak-Moslavina County, just as we also cooperate on reconstructing Zagreb after the March earthquake," he tweeted.

Central Croatia between Zageb and Sisak was rocked by a magnitude 5.0 earthquake at 6.28 a.m. Two more quakes struck the Petrinja area around 7.50 a.m., one measuring 4.7 and the other 4.1 on the Richter scale.

Monday, 28 December 2020

Structural Engineers Sent to Sisak, Petrinja to Estimate Quake Damage

ZAGREB, Dec 28, 2020 - Civil Protection director Damir Trut said on Monday nine structural engineers went to Sisak and Petrinja to assess the state of buildings following this morning's strong earthquakes.

Speaking to the press, Trut said "all human resources," including firefighters and Civil Protection members, "are on the ground, assisting the population. There is no major construction damage and no one has been injured."

153,000 passes for intra-county travel issued

Speaking of passes for travel between counties that have been introduced as part of COVID-19 measures, Trut said the civil protection authorities of the City of Zagreb, Zagreb County and Sisak-Moslavina County were advised to prioritise applications from people who needed to check the state of their property or visit relatives after the quakes.

He added that applicants must comply with COVID measures.

Trust said more than 153,000 passes had been issued to date. He added that 148,000 applications had been made via the e-Propusnica system, with 80,000 granted and 65,000 rejected, as well as 150,000 via e-mail, with 73,000 passes issued.

Friday, 11 December 2020

Zagreb Hospital Wins Medical Oscar for Care of Premature Babies During Earthquake

ZAGREB, Dec 11, 2020 - Zagreb's University Hospital Centre (KBC) has been awarded the Ocar of Medicine for its outstanding achievement in medicine and outstanding efforts by medical staff at the Women's Hospital in taking care of patients, particularly premature babies during a strong earthquake in Zagreb in March.

With their selfless efforts medical staff and volunteers managed to transfer premature babies in incubators and their mothers to safety, it was said during the presentation ceremony.

The medical staff at the hospital were honoured for their expertise, organisation skills and huge solidarity shown.

International Medis Awards, better known as the Oscar of Medicine, have been given for seven years to the best doctors and pharmaceutical researchers for their work and achievements.

The KBC Zagreb also received a donation from the Medis pharmaceutical company, namely a device for UV-C decontamination of surfaces, which came just in time during the coronavirus pandemic.

The head of the neonatal ward in the Petrova Women's Hospital, Mirta Starcevic, recalled that there were 26 premature babies in the hospital when the earthquake struck on March 22, eight of them weighing less than 1.5 kilograms.

"That night a premature baby weighing 1,500 grams was born with numerous complications. When the earthquake struck we had to evacuate the building and the biggest problem was how to maintain the children's body temperature. All the doctors who were not on duty that day immediately came to the hospital. I have to say that the situation resembled a proper war zone. The thing that we are most proud of and pleased with is that we did not lose any of the babies in those circumstances, which is absolutely unbelievable," nurse Starcevic said.

The International Media Awards are annual awards presented for the best research by doctors and pharmacists in nine countries: Croatia, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Hungary, North Macedonia, Slovenia and Serbia.

Monday, 9 November 2020

2020 Anniversary of Devastating 1880 Zagreb Earthquake

ZAGREB November 9, 2020 - November 9th is the anniversary of the 1880 Zagreb earthquake. Holding a special significance in 2020 – the year of the largest earthquake since – we look back at the 1880 event and see what parallels may be drawn with today

'I have never seen more horrible images, nor deeper sorrow in my life,' wrote pre-eminent Zagreb novelist August Šenoa of the destruction visited upon his home city in the 1880 Zagreb earthquake. So influential are the books and writings of August Šenoa that he is regarded as the father of the Croatian novel and of modern national literature. And yet, his chronicling of the 1880 Zagreb earthquake and the devastation it left behind would be among his last writings. While assisting others in the earthquake's aftermath he contracted an illness that would kill him within the year. Upon his death, he was just 43 years old.

IMG_6704.jpegAugust Šenoa © Marc Rowlands

Šenoa was not the only victim of the 1880 Zagreb earthquake. Although not even invented at the time, the 1880 Zagreb earthquake is estimated to have measured 6.3 on today's Richter scale. Besides this being considerably stronger than the earthquake experienced in the city during 2020, back then the buildings of the Croatian capital were not constructed to today's seismic-aware stipulations. Many were no match for the 1880 Zagreb earthquake.


Two fatalities recorded in the immediate aftermath of the 1880 Zagreb earthquake (lithographer Stanić and bank clerk Lavoslav Smetana) and some 29 people were injured seriously. But, unlike 2020, the death toll would continue to rise, as people were left without heat, warmth or even adequate housing with winter fast approaching. Illness and disease visited the city, as did aftershocks like those which have continued to rattle Zagreb in 2020. By April 1881, 185 smaller earthquakes had been recorded. Residents whose houses were damaged were housed in barracks built for that purpose in the area of Zrinjevac and today's Klaićeva ulica.


Financial aid to the victims of the 1880 Zagreb earthquake came from all over Europe. Most was donated by Austria-Hungary, but funds were also collected in Copenhagen, Istanbul, Cardiff, London, Paris, Bern, Sofia, Alexandria, and help was sent by Pope Leo XIII. Residents of the Polish city released the book 'Krakow Zagreb', and one too in Lviv, Ukraine 'For Zagreb'. Proceeds from their sale were presented to the Mayor of Zagreb in 1881.


Some parallels between the 1880 Zagreb earthquake and the earthquake of 2020 are extraordinary. Although in just the first 24 hours after the 1880 Zagreb earthquake, 3,800 passenger tickets were issued at Zagreb's Central Station to those fleeing the city, the lucky escapees were largely from the upper classes. Most of the poor were left behind and, just like the Zagreb volunteers of today, many assisted in helping others and in the city's reconstruction.


The 1880 Zagreb earthquake so badly damaged the city's cathedral that the main nave collapsed and the cathedral tower was damaged beyond repair. Herman Bollé was an Austro-Hungarian architect who had been persuaded to come and work in Croatia by Bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer and Croatian painter Izidor Kršnjavi. One of his first assignments in the country was to assist work on the completion of the cathedral in Đakovo, which was Osijek-born Strossmayer's seat. After this, Bollé was tasked with renovating St. Mark's Church in Zagreb and assisting in the restoration of Zagreb cathedral. He had just started work on building the grand domed arches of Mirogoj cemetery when the 1880 Zagreb earthquake hit. Though Mirogoj was considerably closer to the epicentre of the earthquake, Bollé's new construction was virtually undamaged. This served as proof of his ability and the sturdiness of his constructions. He was immediately promoted to oversee the reconstruction of Zagreb cathedral.

zagreb-19th-century-18.jpgZagreb cathedral, with its single spire, prior to the 1880 earthquake © State archives in Zagreb

In a move which, at the time, caused no small amount of controversy, he opted to take inspiration from earlier versions of the cathedral and rebuild it in a Neo-Gothic style. It was only at this relatively recent juncture in the life of Zagreb cathedral that its two iconic spires appeared. This was not the only new addition Zagreb received after its earthquake.

Zagreb_Cathedral_interior_1880.jpegAnother Ivan Standl photograph, this one from inside Zagreb cathedral

Just like the damage wrought on German cities during the bombing campaigns of World War II, the devastation of the 1880 Zagreb earthquake acted as a catalyst to aspiring new construction work. Many of the iconic and historic buildings in Zagreb's Lower Town were built in the following years, including the main train station, as were some of its best-loved parks and fountains. More than 700 new buildings were built in the subsequent 10 years, and in response, the city’s population grew by a third.

image (1).jpg

If residents today draw any inspiring positives from the parallels between the 1880 Zagreb earthquake and that of 2020, surely the city's resilience, persistence, indefatigability and community spirit must be chief among them. And, if the rebuild following the 2020 earthquake follows in the footsteps of the last one, the city of Zagreb that we could see in years to come may well be like that seen by its residents in the decade following 1880 - a beauty unimaginable while still in the midst of turmoil.

Several photographers were commissioned to document the aftermath of the 1880 Zagreb earthquake including Ivan Standl. Their work appears here courtesy State Archives in Zagreb, The Croatian Ministry of Culture, Zagreb City Library or lies within the public domain

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Sunday, 1 November 2020

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake in Zadar Felt Across Dalmatia

November 1, 2020 – Northern Dalmatia has been hit with a strong tremor today, the earthquake in Zadar was estimated to have measured 4.7 on the Richter scale

A strong earthquake has this afternoon shaken the residents of north Dalmatia. The earthquake in Zadar occurred at 2.15 pm on Sunday 1 November. The epicentre of the earthquake in Zadar was 16 kilometres to the northwest of Posedarje municipality and occurred at a depth of 10 kilometers.

The earthquake in Zadar was felt across much of Dalmatia. Residents of Zadar County would have been settling down to Sunday lunch or preparing to visit local cemeteries on All Saints Day as the strong tremor struck. The duration of the earthquake was approximately four to five seconds.

Index media reported their readers had felt the tremor on the islands of Pag, Prvić and Iž, in the city of Split and even in Bihać in Bosnia and Hercegovina. The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre were contacted by people from Gospić, Sveti Rok, Biograd na Moru, Knin, Solin, Omiš, and even Karlovac who felt the earthquake.

Today's Zadar earthquake is the latest in a series of hundreds of instances of seismic activity that have taken place in Croatia during 2020. The largest earthquake to have shaken the country in over one hundred years took place at 6:25 am on 22 March 2020. The epicentre of that earthquake was around seven kilometres tp the north-east of the centre of Zagreb and the earthquake was measured at a magnitude of 5.5. The Croatian capital and some of its surrounding villages are still dealing with the aftermath.

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Sunday, 20 September 2020

4.2 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Gracac near Zadar, Felt Throughout Dalmatia

September 20, 2020 – After a few minor earthquakes in the past few days, Croatia was hit by a stronger earthquake, this time in Dalmatia, near Gračac. As reports, on Sunday, around 12:55 PM, Gračac was hit by an earthquake measuring 4.2 on the Richter scale, and it was felt throughout Dalmatia.

The EMSC's first report was that the earthquake was 4.2 magnitude, then 4.0. However, the Croatian Seismological Service reports that the earthquake was 4.2 magnitude on the Richter scale.

The earthquake was recorded 88 kilometers northwest of Split, 12 kilometers southwest of Gračac, and 51 kilometers east of Zadar. It was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometers.




Felt throughout Dalmatia

One Gračac resident said that the earthquake was short-lived, but was quite noticeable. According to the comments on the EMSC application, the earthquake was felt all over Dalmatia, so the citizens of Zadar, Šibenik, Split, and other towns felt it.

“We felt the earthquake on Pag, it was quite strong,” readers from Pag report.

“Split, in the wider center, 7th floor in a skyscraper, 3 light hits, like banging. There was no shaking. Altogether it went on for 3-4 seconds,” said one reader from Split.

“It was quite well felt in Biograd. It lasted for 10-15 seconds and there was some rocking. In the end, it roared,” said one reader from Biograd.

“The earthquake was felt even in Drniš and it was not pleasant at all,” one reader informed.




Readers from Kaštela report they felt the earthquake too.

“At 1 PM an earthquake was felt in the area of Split. We felt it in Kaštela. It didn't last long, but it shook us well,” said one reader.

There is no official data on the strength of the earthquake and its epicenter on the website of the Croatian Seismological Service. In addition, it is not known whether there was any material damage.


Strong earthquake, but without material damage

Seismologist Krešimir Kuk said that the earthquake that hit the area around Gračac on Sunday was strong, but there were no reports of material damage. He also stressed that this earthquake should not be associated with earthquakes from the Zagreb epicentral area because they are not directly related.

“The earthquake was moderately strong to strong. Therefore, it was a strong earthquake that manifested itself and was felt significantly in the narrower epicentral area, which caused great concern among the citizens. It was felt in the wider area, all the way to Zadar, Biograd, Knin,” Kuk told N1 television.

He added that the area around Gračac, Knin, and the southern part of the coast is also very seismically active and earthquakes occur there.

"It was a strong earthquake, but not so strong that it should cause material damage, and we hope that it's normal seismic activity," concluded seismologist Krešimir Kuk.


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Monday, 14 September 2020

Minor Earthquake Jolted Zagreb on Sunday, EMSC Said

ZAGREB, Sept 14, 2020 - A minor earthquake jolted Zagreb, measuring 1.9 on the Richter scale, shortly before midnight on Sunday, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said.

The earthquake occurred at 11.55 pm and had its epicenter eight kilometers northeast of Zagreb, the EMSC said.

The Croatian Seismological Service later said that the earthquake measured 2.2 on the Richter scale.

This was yet another in a series of minor tremors that had occurred since March 22 when a magnitude 5.5 quake struck the capital, leaving extensive property damage and fatally injuring a girl.

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Friday, 11 September 2020

Act on Post-earthquake Reconstruction of Zagreb and its Environs Passed

ZAGREB, Sept 11, 2020 - The Croatian parliament on Friday adopted the act on the post-earthquake reconstruction of Zagreb and of Krapina-Zagorje and Zagreb Counties, with 124 parliamentary deputies supporting the legislation.

A total of 138 parliamentary deputies participated in the voting, and ten abstained from it, while four voted against.

In the 151-seat parliament, apart from deputies of the 76-strong ruling majority, also some of the Opposition lawmakers voted for the act.

Four parliamentary deputies who are self-isolating voted via video link, which happened for the first time in the Croatian legislature.

Under the act, the government will provide 60% of the funding for the structural reconstruction of private buildings, while local government units and owners will each contribute 20%.

Property owners whose monthly income does not exceed HRK 4,000 and those whose property was worth less than HRK 200,000 on the day of the earthquake will also be entitled to free reconstruction. This will also apply to disabled Homeland War veterans, disabled persons, and welfare beneficiaries who receive maintenance support.

The owners of the property which will be reconstructed under this scheme are not allowed to sell it within five years upon the rebuilding.

The government is supposed to inform the parliament once a year about the process of reconstruction under this act.

26,000 buildings damaged in the 22 March quake

The March 22 earthquake has been the most destructive in the last 100 years and it claimed the life of a young girl in downtown Zagreb.

The damage caused is estimated at HRK 86 billion, which is about 60% of the state budget and surpasses anything Croatia has experienced.

Some 25,000 buildings were damaged in the City of Zagreb, 510 in Zagreb County, and 409 in Krapina-Zagorje County, or nearly 26,000 buildings in total. About 1.5% of them are public buildings and 98.5% are privately owned.

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Monday, 24 August 2020

Zagreb Earthquake: Poorer Will Not Pay For Home Reconstruction

August 24, 2020 – Government proposes all reconstruction costs be borne by the state and city for the poorest homeowners in society.

In new government proposals, poorer residents of Zagreb and the two neighbouring counties most affected by this year's earthquake will pay nothing towards the cost of home reconstruction. The new proposals contained in the Law on Reconstruction of Zagreb will be officially presented in a government session on Thursday 27 August and then to parliament on September 2 or 3.

Homeowners in the City of Zagreb, Krapina-Zagorje, and Zagreb County whose residencies were damaged are those affected by the new proposals. If a homeowner or cohabiting couple earns HRK 8,000 a month or less and does not have assets of more than HRK 200,000, the state and the city will finance the entirety of their home renovations.

In the law's first reading, it was proposed that structural renovation costs be borne 60% by the state, 20% by city or regional government, and 20% by property owners and co-owners. Property owners whose income did not exceed HRK 4,000 per month in the previous year (or cohabiting couples earning less than HRK 8,000 per month), will now be exempt from any contributions towards reconstruction, provided they did not hold assets exceeding HRK 200,000 on the day of the earthquake, 22 March 2020. Assets refer to real estate, motor vehicles, and vessels, savings and shares.

For people meeting the criteria, apartment and house renovation costs will be borne 80% by the state, and 20% by city or regional government (City of Zagreb, Krapina-Zagorje, or Zagreb County). Reconstruction costs of the homes belonging to those left disabled of the Homeland War or beneficiaries of social care who receive maintenance assistance will also be fully financed.

Damage to a dwelling on Ilica in central Zagreb © Franjo Tahy

The proposals are aimed at assisting the poorest homeowners affected, although the implications stretch much further

People who do not meet the low income/low asset criteria, who do not have a home insurance policy, must pay for 20% of their home renovation. Those who do have an insurance policy can request payment or partial payment of that 20% by their insurers.

It is possible that some unmarried couples who are living together, but not officially co-habiting, and whose income and assets exceed the set amount, could benefit before other couples who are married and legally co-habiting.

There are also potentially serious implications for those who are on a very low income, but who have inherited a property worth more than HRK 200,000 (approx €26,500).

In the final bill, there remains a provision for mortgaging real estate if the owners and co-owners cannot secure 20% of building renovation costs.

The new proposals also include the possibility of obtaining financial assistance for the repair of staircases in buildings, in addition to previously announced assistance for the repair of gable walls, elevators, chimneys, and the replacement of gas boilers.

Damage from the earthquake in Zagreb and surroundings was estimated at 86.4 billion kuna (approx €11.5 billion). The new proposals mean that a larger amount than this previous estimation will now be needed.

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