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.

Friday, 24 September 2021

Magnitude 3.6 Quake Rocks Sisak Area

ZAGREB, 24 Sept 2021 - An earthquake measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale was recorded in the Sisak area at 2239 hours on Thursday, Croatia's Seismological Survey said.

This was the fifth quake in Croatia in the past 41 hours, according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre.

The epicentre was near Čuntić, 8 km south of Petrinja, which was struck by a magnitude 6.2 quake on 29 December.

To stay up-to-date with the latest news, CLICK HERE.

Monday, 30 August 2021

President: If Reconstruction Continues at Current Pace, We Will Lose Petrinja

ZAGREB, 30 Aug 2021 - President Zoran Milanović said on Monday that the post-earthquake reconstruction process was too slow, warning that if it continued at the current pace, Croatia would lose Petrinja.

"Nothing is happening, unfortunately the process is too slow and if it continues at the current pace, we will lose Petrinja," Milanović said in reference to the town in Sisak-Moslavina County, hit hardest by the 29 December 2020 earthquake.

Asked about the pace of reconstruction, he said: "It is never easy and cannot be easy due to property-rights relations, but if you want something, you remove some barriers, possibly making some minor mistake or damage in the process that you later rectify."

"Croatia today would not have highways that were built, designed and financed in two years if we had dealt with every single private property separately, it would have taken us 300 years had we done so," he added.

He added that Petrinja and Glina, another town that suffered extensive damage in the earthquake, should not be "a tall order" and that adopting a new reconstruction law should be easy.

One or several key persons should be entrusted with the reconstruction process and be given financial powers, Milanović said, drawing a parallel with the process of reconstruction following the 2014 floods in the area of Gunja, which he said had been rebuilt in a few months and was of a similar size as Glina.

"As regards the region of Banija, some things require prompt solutions, there is no need for legal nitpicking over very single piece of property... one should take excavators and make order in Petrinja, there will be people who will file lawsuits but that will be dealt with in the process, otherwise we will lose the city," said Milanović.

For more on politics, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 27 August 2021

Houses Whose Owners Are in Container Settlements to Be Rebuilt by Winter

ZAGREB, 27 Aug 2021 - War Veterans' Affairs Minister Tomo Medved, who heads the task force dealing with the aftermath of last year's earthquakes in Sisak-Moslavina County, said on Friday that priority in the reconstruction process would be given to houses whose owners were now accommodated in prefab containers.

So far, roughly 400 family houses have been rebuilt, next week over 1,500 contracts will be signed with property owners for the reconstruction of their family houses. By 15 September, we will have about 6,000 active contracts on reconstruction, Medved said in Sisak.

He said that priority would be given to the reconstruction of properties whose owners had been relocated to container settlements so that they could move in their rebuilt homes before the winter.

Medved said that the authorities also planned the reconstruction of other damaged structures and construction of a number of apartment buildings in the quake-hit area.

For more on politics, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, 17 August 2021

Magnitude 4.2 Quake in Petrinja

ZAGREB, 17 Aug 2021 - Croatia's Seismological Survey recorded a magnitude 4.2 earthquake with the epicentre near Petrinja, around 60 kilometres south of Zagreb at 0158 hours on Tuesday.

The magnitude of the tremor was 4.2 on the Richter scale and the intensity in the epicentre was V-VI on the European macroseismic scale (EMS), the Croatian Seismological Survey said.

There are still no reports about damage.

The Petrinja area was struck by a devastating 6.2 quake last December.

Saturday, 24 July 2021

3.8 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Petrinja Area

ZAGREB, 24 July, 2021 - An earthquake measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale shook the Petrinja area of central Croatia at 3.43 pm on Saturday, the Croatian Seismological Service said.

The intensity at the epicentre was V degrees on the EMS scale. The tremor was felt in the wider area of Petrinja, Sisak and Glina.

The area was struck by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake on 29 December 2020 and a series of aftershocks, leaving seven people killed and extensive property damage.

For more latest news about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, 11 July 2021

Gem Set Hrvatska: Cilic Foundation, Top Croatian Stars Play Tennis for Petrinja

July 11, 2021 - Over 6 months after the devastating Petrinja earthquake, some of Croatia's top sporting stars are descending on the town to put smiles on children's faces - meet Gem Set Hrvatska. 

The international football and tennis attention may be on London today with the Wimbledon and Euro 2020 finals, but the cream of Croatian sporting talent will be on show in the town of Petrinja for the first two days of next week, as some of Croatia's top stars come together for Gem Set Match, a humanitarian action by the Marin Cilic Foundation to raise funds for new sporting facilities for the Dragutin Tadijanovic Elementary School, which along with the rest of the town, was badly affected by earthquakes in December 2020. 

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Have you ever seen Luka Modric play tennis?

I visited Petrinja and the surrounding region the day after the most devastating quake (read more in Majske Poljane, Glina, Petrinja: A Foreigner View of Croatia's Emergency Response). Apart from the traumatic devastation, I was impressed once again at the camaraderie of Croats helping each other in time of need, as car licence plates from all over the country descended on the region with food, clothes and blankets. A truly humanitarian response. 

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Slowly, however, Petrinja disappeared from the headlines, and but for a few worthy private initiatives, one hears little about the reconstruction efforts. But that is about to change next week, with a very inspirational initiative from the Marin Cilic Foundation, which has managed to persuade some of Croatia's top stars to come to Petrinja on July 12 and 13 for Gem Set Hrvatska, a 2-day tennis spectacle which will see the stars competing against each other, as well as a host of other activities. 

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Petrinja will be transformed into a kind of tennis village, modelled on the world's top tennis tournaments. The main tournament itself will be held on July 13, where famous tennis stars will partner with famous stars from other sports. The tournament will take place on the recently built playground in front of Dragutin Tadijanovic Elementary School. 

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The two days will be filled with various activities, sport and cultural events, including cinema screenings, blood donations,  sports workshops, health and entertainment activities, and plenty to eat and drink.

Entry to the two days is free, with tickets available for the tennis tournament via Entrio. Funds raised will be donated for the construction of sporting facilities.

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And what a line-up of stars confirmed so far. In addition to Cilic, they include Luka Modric, Marijo Mandzukic, Mate Pavic & Nikola Mektic (fresh from their Wimbledon triumph), Borna Coric, Ivan Dodig, Donna Vekic, Mateo Kovacic, Ivan Perisic, and Ante Rebic.

A fabulous gesture from them all, and it promises to be an amazing and memorable event for the children of Petrinja. 

You can learn more about Gem Set Hrvatska on the official website

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.

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

French Institute in Croatia Launches Hospitality Programme

ZAGREB, 4 May, 2021 - The French Institute in Croatia has on the occasion of its 100th anniversary launched a Hospitality programme which in cooperation with various institutions enables close public contact with artists.

The programme is adapted to Croatia's specific context, featuring the consequences of the health crisis and earthquakes that hit Zagreb and Sisak and Petrinja in central Croatia and is aimed at developing a programme of valorisation of Croatian artists in the premises of the French Institute where they can present their works and establish contact with a new audience.

The planned encounters are aimed at enabling a privileged experience and relationship with artists and their works, something that has been absent during this period of restricted encounters.

The institute has called on artists to participate in the programme, saying that they will be issued with a 'carte blanche' to take over the institute's premises for specific encounters with the public and to present their works.

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

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Convoy With 70 Tonnes of Humanitarian Aid From Bavaria Arrives in Petrinja

ZAGREB, 13 April, 2021 - A large convoy from Bavaria, carrying more than 70 tonnes of humanitarian aid from Bavaria for residents of Sisak-Moslavina County, hit by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake on 29 December 2020, arrived at a divers' base in Petrinja on Monday.

The drive, organised by divers and Ante Šistov, helped collect more than 70 tonnes of construction material, including bricks, oriented strand boards, electrical fittings, doors, tiles, etc.

Šistov said this was the second humanitarian convoy for the region of Banovina, noting that so far more than 120 tonnes of humanitarian aid had already been delivered to the quake-hit region.

The base for the collection and distribution of humanitarian assistance in Petrinja was set up by the HRVI Nemo-Adriatic association of divers-disabled war veterans, with support from the Croatian Homeland War Volunteers Association and the Promocija Ronjenja agency.

The campaign, which is still ongoing, has been joined by numerous divers' clubs and centres from Croatia and abroad, firefighters and rescuers from Slovenia, Italy, Germany, Austria as well as numerous German companies.

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

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