Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Deputy PM Announces New Location for Food Distribution in Petrinja

ZAGREB, 13 January 2021 - Deputy Prime Minister Boris Milošević said on Wednesday that in cooperation with the city a food distribution tent would be set up in Petrinja, but he did not want to talk about the new location until they are sure it is suitable.

"I do not want to talk about the location until we are sure that it is suitable. We will definitely inform the citizens," Milošević, who is the deputy head of the task force for dealing with the aftermath of the 29 December earthquake, said in a programme called "Croatian Radio for Banovina".

Asked about people's dissatisfaction with the food served by the state-owned company Pleter, he said that the task force's main idea was that no should be left without a hot meal.

"I hope people will be satisfied with Pleter's meals. Of course, they must meet a certain standard and if the complaints become frequent, we will talk with the Pleter management and do everything to ensure the quality of the meals," Milošević said.

He said that the previous volunteer cooks and hospitality workers had set very high standards when it comes to food and had done a huge job, and he thanked them for it.

He said that the container settlement would not be in Mala Gorica because it was hard to deliver the housing containers there, but that it would be in the Sajmište neighbourhood in Petrinja where citizens would be accommodated, as well as micro and small entrepreneurs in order to enable their temporary operation.

Containers keep arriving in Lekenik

Milošević said that containers kept arriving in Lekenik, where there were currently about 20 of them, and during the day another 30 were supposed to come from Switzerland. The state has to date ensured the provision ofi 475 containers.

According to him, the delivery of prefab containers and mobile homes to remote villages poses a problem due to rural roads being in a poor condition, especially during bad weather.

Milošević said that citizens would therefore definitely be provided with organised accommodation so that they would not wait for containers.

He said that citizens in the quake-hit are would not have to pay electricity bills for heating their temporary accommodation.

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Over 32,500 Damaged Sisak-Moslavina County Buildings Reported

January 13, 2021 – So far, over 32,500 damaged Sisak-Moslavina County buildings have been reported, with just under half having already been visited for inspection

Building inspections have been ceaseless since the large earthquake struck the area. They will continue for many more weeks to come. So far, more than 32,500 damaged Sisak-Moslavina County buildings have been reported. Building inspectors have already managed to reach just under half of those, visiting to assess if homes and workplaces can safely be returned to. For the unlucky ones, the answer will sadly be no.

The county issued a report on the building inspection progress on Tuesday 12 January. The report stated that of the damaged Sisak-Moslavina County buildings already inspected, there are 5,673 facilities that can be used but with a recommendation for action. The report also detailed that the exact number of damaged Sisak-Moslavina County buildings reported up until yesterday was 32,567. Just under half of them have already been inspected - 15,187.

135535104_704967340005105_1038395679083706393_n.jpgJust under half of the buildings that have been reported as damaged have already been visited by inspectors for an initial assessment. The process of inspections will last for many weeks to come

179 damaged Sisak-Moslavina County buildings have already been classed as unusable due to external influences, with a further 2,032 also classed as such due to damage. A total of 1,615 damaged Sisak-Moslavina County buildings have been classed as temporarily unusable by initial surveys. These will require return visits for a more detailed inspection.

A further 1,932 buildings were similarly classed as temporarily unusable, but were earmarked for urgent interventions to prevent further deterioration in the structures. Within the report, 402 buildings were assessed as being usable and undamaged, and 3,354 buildings were classed as being usable without restrictions. In the opinion of inspectors, 5673 have been assessed as usable but with the recommendation of works to take place which will ensure their integrity.

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

HPK and MHP Launch Project for Croatian Producers from Quake-Hit Areas

January the 13th, 2021 - Central Croatia was hit by a devastating earthquake at the end of what was a truly horrendous 2020, but several groups, including HPK (Croatian Chamber of Agriculture) and MHP (Cluster of Small Croatian Producers) are launching a joint initiative to help market what is made by Croatian producers from Sisak-Moslavina County.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the two groups are jointly launching a project to market the products made by Croatian producers from the areas most deeply affected by the recent earthquake and are as such inviting Croatian producers to contact HPK in order to find their way to their customers and consumers.

As they point out, they expect that this initiative will help Croatian farmers who are currently facing huge problems, both in production and in product placement. It's worth mentioning that MHP has been recording constant growth for many years and can boast of good results in business related to the development and distribution of products of small Croatian producers.

"In most cases, these are Croatian producers who sold their produce to the local population through markets, and when it comes to that, it's still questionable when they'll be able to start working again, our role will be in the regular purchase and preparation of products for the consumer market. In particular, the idea is to organise a packaging centre in which to pack and prepare goods for further distribution,'' they emphasised.

MHP will place goods made by Croatian producers from the earthquake-afflicted areas of the country on the market under its own name, and the final placement to the end consumer will be in the process of preparation with key partners who are leaders in retail.

"Given that it is estimated that this is not a large volume of products, we believe that with a maximum of 200 square metres, we'll have enough space to meet the placement target for about 50 Croatian manufacturers. We will provide the space under our direction, and we asked HPK to get involved in the segment of furnishing the space and speeding up the registration procedures. We're going to deal with the whole procedure without compensation for those Croatian producers, which is another reason why we're asking for the support of HPK, the umbrella organizstion of all Croatian farmers,'' concluded Marko Spiljar, director of MHP Alimentum trade.

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Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Pupovac: Banija or Banovina Debate Shows Politicisation of Language

ZAGREB, 12 January, 2021 - Serb National Council president Milorad Pupovac said on Tuesday the discussion on whether Banija or Banovina was the correct name for the Croatian region showed a strong politicisation of language and that both were linguistically correct.

A professor at the Zagreb Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Department for Applied Linguistics, he told N1 television that "language here is a very politicised issue... with the intention to build the national Croatian identity" which, he said, often causes misunderstandings, lack of freedom in speakers and fears and uncertainty as to how to use one's own language.

Post-war reconstruction

Pupovac also commented on the post-war reconstruction of homes in Sisak-Moslavina County, some of which were razed by a 29 December earthquake, which raised the issue of quality and responsibility.

He said "indeed all sorts of things" happened in the reconstruction after the 1991-95 Homeland War, including different treatment on ethnic grounds.

There are many aspects that need to be established, including the extent of responsibility and who was responsible, he said, mentioning the problem of hiring subcontractors and insufficient awareness of the seismological situation.

Boris Milošević, the deputy prime minister for human rights and a member of the task force dealing with the aftermath of the 29 December tremor, said he used the name Banija for the region and that, given the job that needs to be done after the quake and to solve the problems of the locals who lost their homes, "I can't wait for the time when that will be the only concern, whether it's Banija or Banovina."

For the latest information on the earthquake emergency, follow the dedicated TCN section

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Earthquake Donations in Action: Croatian Entrepreneurs (UGP) Fund Report, January 12

January 12, 2021 - Transparent donations getting to the people who need them most are essential in emergency response. TCN follows the Voice of Entrepreneurs Glas Poduzetnika (UGP) fund to report on the realities on the ground.

The donations are pouring in from all over the world to help the victims of the earthquakes in Petrinja, Glina and Sisak, donations which have been gratefully received and which are making a difference. 

As I wrote previously, many people have contacted us at TCN asking for advice on the best place to send money. We published a list a few days ago, but I was really happy to see one more fund set up 7 days ago, from Udruga Glas Poduzetnika, or Voice of Entrepreneurs, which is a growing force for reform and change in Croatia. Run by people who want to see an end to corruption and needless red tape, I was sure that their efforts to help their fellow citizens in crisis would be transparent, dynamic, focused and effective, with all money donated going to the people who needed it most. And so it proved, which is why I am now directing anyone looking for a place to donate to UGP, as I explained a few days ago.

UGP co-founder Drazen Orescanin was kind enough to give me an in-depth interview yesterday on the focus, plans and activities of the UGP fund, and it was great to hear that 100% of the money donated will go to help those who need it most.

In order to provide more transparent donation information, we agreed to publish a daily report of the fund's activities, finances and purchases. This was due to be published yesterday, but the crazy events of January 6, 2021 meant a slight delay. As resources and time allow, this will be a daily feature, and you can track progress here.

ugp-petrinja-containers (1).JPG


Daily activities

Today, we have managed to deliver 2 housing containers to families in Sisak. Cold weather and snow have caused delays in deliveries in all of Croatia. For us, it was very important to deliver these containers as soon as possible. There are still a lot of people who don’t have a roof over their heads and the weather is making the situation worse. 

The difficult situation in which the families of Tajana Kondres and Slobodan Caljuga found themselves is now somewhat easier and thanks to donations of our members, these two families can safely wait for the renovation of their homes. Families are indescribably grateful to all of the people who made this possible.

What's next?

This week we will continue to work with our volunteers and we will try to deliver more housing containers. We are planning to deliver 2 containers on Thursday and 2 more containers on Saturday or Sunday. Moreover, we are now making plans to help people with building materials so that they can rebuild their homes as soon as possible.



Information in English for donations, both for donations from Croatia and abroad

For the latest news on UGP, follow the dedicated TCN section

For the latest information on the earthquake emergency, follow the dedicated TCN section

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

SDP Official Asks for Urgent Inspection of Schools by Structural Engineers

ZAGREB, 12 January, 2021 - The leader of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) branch in Zagreb, Gordan Maras, on Tuesday called on structural engineers to inspect school and kindergarten buildings in Zagreb in the next five days to see if they are safe for holding classes after the December 29 earthquake.

After the winter break, school is expected to resume on January 18.

Addressing a news conference, Maras said that Mayor Milan Bandić and the head of the city department for education, Ivica Lovrić, had lied that structural engineers had inspected school buildings, which he said was evidenced by dozens of emails he had been receiving from school principals who had asked that their schools be checked but to no avail.

Maras noted that reaching schools in downtown Zagreb was a special problem and that it was irresponsible to say that making corridors for safe passage was not necessary.

Maras also asked Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Mayor Bandić and the acting head of the Fund for the Post-Earthquake Reconstruction of Zagreb, Damir Vanđelić, when the reconstruction of the capital city, currently on hold, would begin.

On 22 March 2020 Zagreb was hit by a 5.2 magnitude earthquake which claimed one life and caused damage, particularly to buildings in the downtown area, as well as to properties in Zagreb and Zagorje counties.

The 6.2 magnitude quake that hit Sisak-Moslavina County on December 29 killing seven people and causing large-scale destruction was also felt in Zagreb but no major additional damage was reported in the capital.

For the latest information on the earthquake emergency, follow the dedicated TCN section

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Ministry Report Shows Readiness of Civil Protection Low, Says Vecernji List

ZAGREB, 12 January, 2021 - The Civil Protection is not ready to respond adequately in the event of a disaster, the Ministry of the Interior concluded in its report for 2019, the Vecernji List daily says in its Tuesday issue.

More specifically, the assessed readiness of the entire Civil Protection system to manage disaster risks and protect all categories of social values affected by disasters is low, the daily says.

The report particularly deals with the readiness of Civil Protection units at the local level, which is barely satisfactory. Due to their low level of readiness, local Civil Protection units received the lowest grade.

The same low grades went to Civil Protection commissioners, more than 5,000 of them, who are appointed by towns and municipalities.

Regular forces of civil associations - the Croatian Firefighting Association, the Red Cross Croatia, the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service - and regular forces of legal persons are the most ready to respond to disasters.

The assessed readiness of the entire Civil Protection system to manage disaster risks and protect all categories of social values exposed to harmful effects of disasters is low - that is the conclusion of the ministry document "Disaster Risk Assessment for Croatia", made in 2019.

The readiness of the Civil Protection in preventive activities was assessed as low while its response to disasters was better, which is why the overall readiness grade was high.

Civil Protection units and general and specialist forces of local and regional government units got the lowest grades for their operational capacity, according to the daily.

For the latest information on the earthquake emergency, follow the dedicated TCN section

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Mareković: Pleter Has Been Preparing Meals from Very First Day of Quake

ZAGREB, 12 January, 2021 -  The chairman of the management board of the state-owned company Pleter, Marijan Mareković, said on Monday, that immediately after the 29 December earthquake, Pleter had started preparing meals in barracks for quake victims in Sisak-Moslavina County.

According to Mareković, in the evening of 29 December, Pleter commenced preparing meals for army troops deployed in the area as well as for beneficiaries of an old-age care home who were relocated to the barracks in Petrinja after the magnitude 6.2 quake.

In the meantime Pleter has been tasked with preparing meals for all quake victims in the area.

Mareković told the RTL commercial broadcaster that the company had been ready for this task all the time.

Asked how he commented on the fact that for the two weeks after the quake volunteering cooks and chefs had been included in the preparation of meals, Mareković said that that had been probably been decided by the task force for dealing with the aftermath of the quake.

In the course of Monday, Pleter delivered 7,000 hot meals and 5,000 other meals, he said adding that the same was planned for Tuesday.

The task force will inform Pleter of the number of meals they are expected to prepare and at what locations to deliver them.

For the latest information on the earthquake emergency, follow the dedicated TCN section

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

PM Plenkovic: We'll Decide on Inquiry Commission after Situation in Field Inspected

ZAGREB, 11 January, 2021 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Monday that he would take a stance on an inquiry commission after services in the field checked how many buildings covered by the post-war reconstruction in Sisak-Moslavina County had been damaged in the 29 December earthquake.

"Everything related to post-war reconstruction needs to be brought to light. I have requested that all services in the field precisely identify how many buildings that were damaged in the earthquake in Sisak-Moslavina County are buildings repaired or reconstructed under the post-war reconstruction scheme. When we see what it is about, then we will take a stance," Plenković said ahead of this year's first meeting of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leadership.

As far as amendments to the law are concerned regarding reducing red tape to issue building permits faster so that reconstruction can start as soon as possible, Plenković underscored that a comprehensive solution was being sought and this would be discussed at the cabinet meeting on Thursday.

Asked to comment on claims by Petrinja Mayor Darinko Dumbović that he would sue the state if it turned out that there were irregularities and wrongdoings during post-war reconstruction, Plenković said that they were in constant contact and that he presumed that the DORH state prosecutor's office and police were already taking certain activities.

With regard to an appeal by parents in Zagreb that safe passage be ensured on the way to schools ahead of the second semester of this school year and that they are afraid that the financial burden will fall on them, Plenković welcomed any initiative that would ensure citizens' safety particularly for pupils.

He also said that during talks in the next two days with the Education Ministry a decision would be made in reference to the broader epidemiological situation regarding whether school would continue face to face in January when it is supposed to start on the 18th or whether it would be held in line with the measures that are still in force.

He recalled the €683 million from the EU Solidarity Fund that has been received and that the government was doing everything to speed up the process and to launch the reconstruction of privately-owned buildings.

Monday, 11 January 2021

EMSC Users in Croatia Donate EUR 2,000 Since Petrinja Earthquake

January 11, 2021 - EMSC users in Croatia have thanked the rapid earthquake tracker by donating 2,000 euro to the cause since the Petrinja earthquake! 

24 Sata reports that the European-Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) thanked users from Croatia on its Twitter profile who donated more than 15,000 kuna, or 2,000 euro, since the devastating 6.3 earthquake hit the Petrinja area on December 29, 2020. 

"Just a short message to our users in #Croatia, we are very grateful for the more than 100 donations we received, for a total exceeding 2 000€ since #Petrinja earthquake! We really want to thank you knowing that our services have not been perfect -to say the least-! Stay safe" EMSC said on its Twitter, which you can see in the header photo above.

EMSC is often the target of criticism because their websites and the LastQuake application often collapse from the rush of traffic after a major earthquake. The Seismological Service is often criticized for publishing its earthquake data later. One of the reasons for this is the lack of financial resources.

The EMSC was established in 1975 on the European Seismological Commission's recommendation, given that the Euro-Mediterranean region showed potentially dangerous seismic activity. It is headquartered in Bruyères le Châtel, a municipality on the southern outskirts of Paris, and is a non-profit NGO.

EMSC uses a unique earthquake detection system thanks to the collaborative work from eyewitnesses and data collection from seismic institutes provided by 85 institutes as members from 56 different countries, thus giving users real-time earthquake information for seismic events. 

Recall, EMSC reported that a devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake shook the central Croatia area on Tuesday morning, December 29, 2020. The quake was felt in the Zagreb area and around Croatia - in Rijeka and even some eyewitness accounts from Split. 

The epicenter of the earthquake, which shook Croatia at around 12.19 pm that day, was 46 kilometers from Zagreb and nine kilometers west, southwest of Sisak in the Petrinja area.

You can explore the EMSC website HERE.

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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