Monday, 15 February 2021

Zagreb Reconstruction to Include Green Parks, New Car Garages and More?

February the 15th, 2021 - Is the new Zagreb reconstruction process set to include far more and be much greener than we could have imagined when the earthquake struck the capital in March last year?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, green development is on the way as the desire to create a proper framework for a green Zagreb reconstruction and thus a real basis for more green development aimed at the reconstruction and decarbonisation of the construction fund. All of the anove was promisingly announced by Ivica Rovis from the Institute for Physical Planning of the City of Zagreb. The institute is otherwise leading the development of a pilot project called Blok_19, which Mayor Milan Bandic should present on the anniversary of the March earthquake in Zagreb this year.

The pilot project regards a block of buildings bordering the city streets of Dalmatinska, Frankopanska, Ilica and Meduliceva, and the powers that be in the city in close cooperation with experts involved in the so-called Council for the Coordination of Activities Related to the Development of the Complete Reconstruction Programme of Zagreb's Historic Centre have been working on it for almost a year now.

The council has a president, a vice president and as many as 22 experts. The idea was to analyse all of Zagreb's blocks in this way, but considering that Block 19 has been being analysed for a year now, the question is when anything would be actually end up being restored if the entire city was taken into consideration in the same manner. In general, Block 19 should be a concretisation of the solution planned for the Gornji and Donji Grad as well as Kaptol.

The traffic study for this Zagreb reconstrution project with a primary focus on being green, as has since been found out, was made for the three previously mentioned locations, and it envisages the construction of a larger number of garages for the local population, the abolition of parking on the streets and the removal of cars from the centre.

''We'd move much more towards the opening of city blocks, which would allow pedestrians to move faster, and a larger number of bike paths would be created. Namely, after the earthquake, the government offered the citizens of Zagreb money to buy water heaters and pay for any emergency repairs, as well as a legal framework for the co-financing of any constructive Zagreb reconstruction, and the City of Zagreb has additional plans on top of that, too.

A Dalmatian-style park would make Zagreb become even greener, maybe another passage would open, two garages would find their place underground, the city's facades would become photosensitive, the buildings would be made resistant to destructive earthquakes and fully energetically renovated, traffic would be adapted and decarbonised,'' recounts Jutarnji list briefly when relaying the vision of Block 19 from one of the council members who wished to remain anonymous.

Most members of the Council don't yet want to speak publicly about what they have come up with for the green Zagreb reconstruction project because the whole thing is being kept in strict secrecy until the presentation.

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Monday, 4 January 2021

With 85% of Croatian Properties Not Covered for Earthquakes, an Insurance Expert Speaks

January 4, 2021 - Croatian earthquake insurance is the exception rather than the norm, meaning that 2020 will prove a financially devastating year for many. 

After the initial emotions of the earthquake, the harsh realities of life that will follow, and how it will be changed for many. 

After seeing hundreds of articles in the Croatian media in the aftermath of the earthquake, all focus on the devastation and human interest stories, one story in 24Sata caught my attention on an entirely different topic, one which we subsequently covered in Croatian Earthquake Aftershocks: A Home Destroyed, Loan Repayments Unaffected.

My first reaction was that the couple should have had house insurance, but I decided to read the article. And so began an introduction into an issue which is going to have a huge impact on the lives of many people affected by the disaster. I also learned a lot more about Croatian insurance than I thought I ever needed to know. 

It turned out that the couple did have insurance. Indeed, they had to have insurance, a requirement from the bank which gave them a 30-year loan on their first home, an apartment in Sisak. They moved in on November 27, 2020, 32 days before disaster struck. Before they had made the first repayment to the bank, the apartment must now be demolished. But the bank repayments must continue. 

This is obviously going to be far from an isolated case, and I posted on Facebook and LinkedIn to see what more information I could learn. It has been quite an education so far, and many thanks for all the contributions received. I learned a few things, such as 1964 being a pivotal date in earthquake insurance, with policies and payments changed in the aftermath of the 1963 major quake in Skopje, (now North) Macedonia. 

I also learned that cover depends on the size of the quake for it to be designated as a quake. From one current policy in Croatia:

In terms of these Terms, an earthquake signifies a naturally induced ground motion (shaking) sudden geophysical processes in the Earth's crust which manifested itself in the place of insurance with an intensity of 5 degrees and more per Mercalli-Cancani-Sieberg scale (MCS scale).

I also learned that the culture of insuring houses is not so strong in Croatia, with an estimated 30% of properties insured. While basic property insurance is mandatory for bank loans, earthquake insurance is an added extra, and not one that many take up. Indeed, there are an estimated 15% of properties with earthquake insurance. 

Which means that there are 85% of properties which are not covered. The consequences of which can be felt in seconds with a major quake.

It was reported today that earthquake insurance premiums are to rise 28% in Croatia, understandably in the wake of recent events.  The report also has some other numbers from the Chamber of Economy. 

"The devastating earthquakes which hit Croatia last year have caused over HRK 100 billion worth of damage and many people have lost their properties."

"After the March 2020 earthquake, insurance companies paid HRK 237.5 million and processed 7,269 damages claims by the end of November, the HGK said, adding that the Zagreb quake showed that an extremely low percentage of apartment buildings had earthquake insurance."

Do the maths. Of course there will be additional payouts, particularly from the most recent quakes, but according to these official numbers from the Chamber of Economy, 100 billion kuna of damage and 237.5 million kuna of payout equates to 0.2375% of compensation. 

There is a lot more to this, of course, and I am certainly no expert, but this is looking like a huge issue, one which TCN will be following. If anyone has insights or information to add, please send (with links to authoritative sites preferred) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Insurance.

Among the many responses I received to my social media plea, Ognjen Radulovic said that he would be happy to answer some questions in his capacity of Strategic Insurance Specialist at MAI Insurance and Reinsurance Brokers. Some of the answers are below, while Ognjen has agreed to get more data for other questions.

1. What is the general culture and attitude to home insurance in Croatia? 

Home insurances have been increasing over the last decade, for sure due to bank loans as collaterals but also with a different scope of required coverages. Most commonly used are Fire, Lightning, Explosion, Aircraft fall (the so-called FLEXA group of perils).

2. Earthquake insurance is an additional extra, and I understand that 85% of properties are not covered by it. Can you explain a little about the earthquake cover and its costs?

After closing FLEXA, it is possible to proceed with the closing of extras such as EQ (earthquake insurance).

Unlike FLEXA and some other named perils, EQ is a 100% reinsured peril, which means that local markets are paying premiums to reinsurers in order to obtain the cover. It also means that local markets do not participate in the remuneration of losses, they only formalize the payout once the losses have been confirmed by reinsurers.

All relations among insurers and reinsurers are strictly regulated by supervisory bodies (HANFA in Croatia).

The costs (insurance premiums) may vary among markets. With the intention to reduce the insurance premium, markets are offering coverage closing with the insured's self-retention clause based on the Sum Insured (contracted Property Value) or Loss Amount (depending on the market).

3. Several people who had earthquake cover in Zagreb in March found that they were unable to claim due to the small print. What were the main reasons for this?

Hard to answer without detailed insights. Most likely the coverage has been closed with deductible in % and stated absolute minimum of self-retention which is higher than the loss occurred.

4. How transparent is the insurance industry in your opinion, and what steps could be taken to improve the information flow and encourage more homeowners to insure their properties?

This is a subject of local insurance culture generally: for instance, Slovenia has double insurance premium per capita than Croatia, Serbia twice lower... A higher economic standard is mostly followed by a higher interest of homeowners for insurance - paradoxically, but true: the less money you have, the harder you decide to protect the property you own.

5. We are already hearing of several examples of apartment owners in the Petrinja area who were insured and had bank loans but no earthquake insurance. Some buildings have been earmarked for demolition, thereby leaving people without homes but still with the bank loans to pay. In your experience, what happens in situations like these?

Banks do not require EQ coverage, but it was not the obstacle for the owners to arrange the closure of this specific peril in addition - an example of owners' bad risk management and lack of insurance culture. They got the loan, the properties don't exist anymore, they have to return the loans as agreed.

Best case scenario: the state will provide some help, but for sure not equal to the losses they suffered.

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

Sunday, 3 January 2021

2.7 Magnitude Quake Shakes Zagreb (January 3, 09:19)

ZAGREB, 3 January, 2021 - An earthquake measuring 2.7 on the Richter scale shook Zagreb at 0919 hours Sunday, the Croatian Seismological Survey said on Sunday morning.

The epicentre of the quake was in the northern residential area of Remete, and the intensity in the epicentre was III-IV degrees on the EMS scale.

Residents in the city and its environs felt the tremor.

Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Buildings in Zagreb Damaged by Latest Quake, No Casualties Reported

ZAGREB, Dec 29, 2020 - A devastating earthquake that struck the town of Petrinja some 60 kilometres southeast of Zagreb has caused damage to several buildings in the capital, the head of emergency services in the City of Zagreb, Pavle Kalinic told Hina on Tuesday.

Kalinic said that services were immediately being deployed to Petrinja and its environs which were the hardest hit by the earthquake.

A devastating earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale and VII-IX degrees on the EMS scale, with its epicentre 5 kilometres southwest of Petrinja, struck at 12.19 on Tuesday, the Seismology Service reported on Tuesday.

The earthquake could be felt throughout Croatia and in neighbouring countries.

You can follow the latest live updates and videos here.

Tuesday, 29 December 2020

New 6.3 Earthquake 46 km SE of Zagreb, Croatia: Live Updates

December 29, 2020 - Another strong earthquake was felt throughout Croatia on Tuesday morning, felt especially in the Zagreb area.

According to the EMSC, the earthquake had a magnitude of 6.3. 

The center of the earthquake, which shook Croatia at around 12.20 pm, was 46 kilometers from Zagreb and nine kilometers west, southwest of Sisak in the Petrinja area, the EMSC reported.

The quake had a depth of 10 kilometers.

After that quake, another smaller one was felt. All together it lasted about half a minute, reports Index.hr.

This news comes after a strong earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale was recorded in the Petrinja area Monday at 6:28. Subsequently, at 7:49 and 7:51, two more earthquakes, this time 4.7 and 4.1 magnitudes, were recorded, with the epicenter 5 km southeast of Petrinja.

More than a dozen smaller earthquakes have been recorded in the Petrinja area since Monday morning. 

You can find witness testimonies HERE

LIVE UPDATES powered by Index

22:07 Petrinja mayor in tears
"If we don't react adequately now, we can all bury ourselves in this rubbish. I've been crying all day," Darinko Dumbovic told N1.

22:03 Homeless citizens will sleep in the hall

The Brezovica Sports Hall in Sisak has become a place where citizens can be accommodated.

The long-awaited truck with beds arrived in Sisak in the evening. They are set up in a hall where about 40 people will spend the night. Most of them are older people, reports N1.

21:51 This is the most important information about the devastating earthquake in Petrinja
At 12:19 pm, seismologists recorded a devastating earthquake with an epicenter five kilometers southwest of Petrinja at a depth of 11.5 kilometers. The magnitude of the earthquake was 6.2 according to Richter, and the intensity at the epicenter of the VIII-IX degrees of the EMS scale. 

21:50 About 200 people in Zagreb donated blood for those in Petrinja and Sisak, they waited for an hour and a half
About 200 people voluntarily donated blood at the Institute for Transfusion Medicine in Zagreb to provide sufficient amounts of blood for people from the areas affected by the earthquake, said the director of the Croatian Institute for Transfusion Medicine, Irena Jukic.

The call for voluntary blood donation was sent to all healthy adult citizens because it is not known which blood groups will be needed and in what quantities, added Jukić, who was surprised by the response of the citizens. 

21:37 Plenković addresses the public

21:26 Ivanić grad helps Petrinja

Today, the Mayor of Ivanić-Grad, in coordination with the Zagreb County, agreed to help the citizens who today, unfortunately, lost their homes. Permanent accommodation and hot meals have been prepared for as many as 160 people in the student dormitory in Ivanić Grad.

The owner of the student dormitory in Ivanić-Grad is the county and already tonight a family is placed in the dormitory. The capacity of the home is 120.

21:20 They will collect donations in Nedelišće
In agreement with the Red Cross and based on numerous invitations from citizens, entrepreneurs and associations, the MESAP heated hall in Nedelišće will be available in the morning, where
they will collect food and hygiene supplies. Volunteers will pack them in family packages and distribute them in an organized manner to the areas of Petrinja, Glina and other surrounding settlements affected by the earthquake, the Međimurje headquarters reported.

21:19 Podravka sends 10 tons of food
In agreement with the national and county Civil Protection Headquarters, Podravka provided 10 tons of its food products for the citizens of Petrinja, Sisak and other places affected by the earthquake, and a truck with food is on its way to the affected areas.

Based on the orders of the Chief Fire Commander of the Republic of Croatia Slavko Tucaković, volunteer firefighters from the Fire Brigade of the City of Koprivnica and professional firefighters of the Public Fire Brigade of the City of Koprivnica went to help eliminate the consequences of the earthquake in Petrinja.

They went to Petrinja with six vans and one tanker and a field support vehicle.

Members of the Public Fire Brigade from Đurđevac are also in the damaged town. During this afternoon, construction materials were procured, which will go to Petrinja tomorrow so that its residents can start rebuilding their homes as soon as possible.

HGSS members from Podravina are also helping in the quake-hit area. Hotel Podravina from Koprivnica, through its Facebook profile, offered free accommodation for 20 people who were left without their homes. Contact phone is 048 / 621-025.

21:10 Krško should start working tomorrow
The director of the Krško nuclear power plant, Stane Rožman, stated that no damage was found to the plant and that there was no impact on the environment. Currently, the nuclear power plant is safe. It is expected to start working normally again tomorrow.

"The prescribed security activity is being carried out, the system is being checked, the situation is completely normal, no damage has been noticed so far. In such cases, everyone must gather at the technical support center and agree on what to do next," he added.

21:04 In the last 37 hours, 20 earthquakes were felt in Croatia

As the European Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) announced tonight, 20 earthquakes were felt in Croatia in the last 37 hours.

It should be emphasized that these are earthquakes that were felt, because in fact there were more earthquakes in Croatia, but not all of them were felt. 

20:48 Help for some surrounding villages is just starting

20:46 Report from Petrinja

 

20:37 Putar: HGSS continues the search during the night
The deputy head of the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service, Neven Putar, said that the HGSS had rescued six people from the rubble in the earthquake-stricken area of Petrinja so far, and that he added that the search and rescue operation would continue during the night.

"During the night, teams of HGSS members will inspect the terrain, that is, they will visit the villages between Petrinja and Sisak to see what the situation is like," Putar told Hina.

20:33 Helicopters from Petrinja to Zagreb evacuated the homes for the elderly

20:09 Live from Petrinja

20:05 The Judo Federation helps the affected areas
"The Croatian Judo family is next to Sisak, Petrinja, Glina, as well as all smaller places affected by earthquakes! The Board of Directors of the Croatian Judo Federation has made a decision on financial support for the neediest in the amount of HRK 50,000. We are also in contact with the Civil Protection Headquarters and we have made 5 vans available for transport. Above all - CROATIA!"

19:42 The seventh dead person has also been confirmed, a man died inside the church in Žažina

19:41 "Neighbors help first": BiH Red Cross raises aid for Petrinja
The Red Cross of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina announced on its Facebook profile that it has started collecting money for the earthquake-affected areas in Croatia. 

19:40 Policemen gave up their meals and sent them to Petrinja 
Lika intervention, border and basic police officers and colleagues from the Police Directorates of Šibenik-Knin, Varaždin and Dubrovnik-Neretva who, in helping Lika to protect the state border, gave up their packed meals during a 12-hour shift and sent a full van from Donji Lapac to Petrinja, the Ministry of the Interior announced. 

19:32 Bozinovic: I hope there is no one under the rubble
"I hope that there is no one under the rubble anymore, but we cannot rule it out," Bozinovic told HRT's Dnevnik. The host of HTV claimed that seven dead had been confirmed, but Božinović did not deny that.

19:30 HGSS rescued two people
Teams of the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service (HGSS) located three dead in the wider area of ​​Petrinja and Glina on Tuesday and pulled two people out of the rubble, according to HGSS chief Josip Granić.

"So far, we have pulled a woman out of the ruins from the city government building in Petrinja, and in Majske Poljane we found three people who died and found one person buried alive with the help of dogs," Granic told Hina.

There are 169 people in the field from 19 HGSS stations, from the altitude team to search teams with search dogs helping to locate.

Rescue operations are still ongoing and the entire civil protection system has been launched, he noted.

HGSS teams are working to clean roads, and tonight they are looking for another missing person.

There are 10 search teams in the field, we continue to work all night, said Granić.

19:25 Help has arrived in Strašnik
Help arrived in the place closest to the epicenter, and part of the citizens were evacuated. A tent was set up and vans with water and food arrived.

19:09 The control tower in Zagreb was damaged in the earthquake, air traffic was interrupted
The Croatian Air Navigation Services reported on Tuesday night that the control tower in Zagreb suffered damage in the earthquake, which interrupted air traffic over Zagreb for some time. 

19:08 Drone: People, don't come to Petrinja anymore and don't enter the ruins
The Assistant Minister of the Interior and the Director of Civil Protection said that a lot of people arrived in Petrinja today to help, but now he asked people to go home and new ones not to come.

"We had a large number of volunteers and fans, I asked them now to go home, because it is dark and we don't want injuries. I appeal not to enter the ruins," Trut said. and added that this was a ten times stronger earthquake than the one in Zagreb in March. 

18:53 Mayor of Petrinja: The system died in this city, it simply does not exist
The mayor of Petrinja, Darinko Dumbović, spoke about the current situation in Petrinja after the earthquake.

"What I have to say is that I sincerely sympathize with all the families who survived the tragedy. The city of Petrinja is going through hell after this earthquake that we could not see in any film. Everything we experienced primarily as a city, I have a feeling that the soul and center is destroyed and I can say all that with just one sentence: My city, why are you going through this?" said Dumbović for N1. 

18:50 Zagreb collects aid for Petrinja, Glina, Sisak

18:39 278 firefighters and 76 vehicles arrive in Sisak and Petrinja
According to the order of the chief fire commander Slavko Tucakovic, additional fire forces were sent to the area affected by the earthquake. In addition to a large number of firefighters, naval fire trucks, technical vehicles, rescue vehicles from heights, special rescue equipment from the rubble, and fire crews with search dogs were sent.

Fire brigades from Primorje-Gorski Kotar, Istria, Šibenik-Knin, Zadar, Koprivnica-Križevci, Osijek-Baranja, Krapina-Zagorje, Split-Dalmatia and Dubrovnik-Neretva counties were sent to Petrinja with a total of 137 firefighters and 44 vehicles.

Firefighters from the City of Zagreb, Lika-Senj, Varaždin, Bjelovar-Bilogora, Brod-Posavina and Vukovar-Srijem counties were sent to Sisak with a total of 141 firefighters and 32 vehicles.

In addition to the above assistance, all available fire brigades of the Sisak-Moslavina County have been engaged in this area.

18:37 The region is with Croatia: Macedonia sends money, Slovenia tents, Serbia offers help
The Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, also sent a message of support to Croatia. His government today decided to send six million Macedonian denars (about 734,000 kuna) in financial aid to Croatia, he announced on Facebook.

"At today's session, the government decided on the financial assistance of 6 million denars for Croatia after the strong earthquake in Petrinja. Solidarity is the first impulse at the moment and we will provide assistance in accordance with the needs."

18:35 Convoy of cars in front of Petrinja
According to our reporters, a convoy of cars is in front of the entrance to Petrinja, and trucks are driving containers towards Petrinja.

18:33 A new earthquake was felt in Croatia
The area of central Croatia is shaking non-stop. There have been two earthquakes in the last 20 minutes. Estimates are still pending.

18:31 Humanitarian aid for Petrinja from Split

18:15 The Ministry of the Interior announced that six people died

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18:13 HGSS warns of an important rule about the emergency corridor

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18:10 HEP, the state electricity company, announced the latest information
"During the afternoon, HEP re-established electricity supply in the area of Glina, Topusko, Dvor, Gvozd, Hrvatska Kostajnica and Sunja, and at around 6 pm in the area of Velika Gorica. Half of the city of Sisak, including the hospital, also has power, while the other half will. Due to large and devastating damage to the network, Petrinja is still completely without a power supply, and activities are underway to establish power supply for part of Petrinja, which is expected during the evening. in all the mentioned areas, a part of the consumers will be without power supply until all minor faults on the low voltage network and connections are eliminated."

18:10 A huge column formed on the highway to Sisak.
The descent from the highway at the toll booths in Lekenik is very crowded. Recall that passes have been abolished throughout the country. More on Index.

18:00 Bozinovic announced
"We are all committed to accommodating people, those who cannot in their homes. As far as human forces are concerned, we have enough of them. We are working on it and help is coming from the national headquarters from the warehouse. that everyone has a roof over their heads and I think we will succeed in that, "Bozinovic said.

17:54 Evacuation from the hospital in Petrinja

The evacuation of patients from the Petrinja hospital is still ongoing, there is no electricity or heating, military vans are waiting, the ground is still shaking.

17:48 Another person was killed in Žažina

There were five people in the church in Žažine at the time of the collapse, four of whom escaped before it collapsed. One person remained trapped under the rubble and died.

17:47 Doctor from Sisak hospital: Earthquake knocked me to the floor, surgery building separated
A devastating earthquake with a magnitude of 6.2 near Petrinja destroyed the town, but it also caused great damage in Sisak. Doctor Ivana Šmit, a cardiologist at the General Hospital in Sisak, was in the internal medicine department at the time of the earthquake, and soon after the earthquake, she went to rescue patients from the hospital in Petrinja.

17:46 45 HGSS members transported by helicopter from Split to Petrinja to search in ruins
Croatian Air Force helicopters from Divulje rushed to the Petrinja area on Tuesday to transport 45 members of the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service (HGS) in Split to help search for and help people in the rubble, according to HGSS Deputy Chief Vinko Prizmić.

17:48 New footage of Petrinja from above

 

17:24 Live from Petrinja

17:19 New information: Six are dead
It has been confirmed to Index that there are five dead people in Majske Poljane.

 

17:08 Deputy Mayor of Glina for Index
Four people have died, one is fighting for his life.

17:00 Bandić: In Zagreb, the damage is 20 times less than in the March earthquake
"Fortunately, there are no casualties in Zagreb. There are slightly injured people and panic. Most of them are people stuck in elevators and in a panic on the stairs," said Mayor Bandic.

16:57 Westgate closes
Westgate Shopping City will not be open to visitors today and tomorrow, they said. The Center has no structural damage and is completely safe, but when there are major accidents, such as today's earthquake, a system of sprinklers is preventively activated, which caused minor flooding in part of the Center.

The earthquake also caused minor damage to store windows, and part of the range was damaged, and in the next few days the damage will be repaired and the Center
reopen to customers.

By the way, Westgate was designed and built according to the strictest conditions for earthquake protection, and the style of construction is ‘deserving’ that the Center did not record major damage even after the earthquake in March.

16:55 Four people died in Majske Poljane
It was confirmed to Index that four people were killed in Majske Poljane.

16:42 Information about the third victim has arrived
According to new information, another person was killed.

16:32 Međimurje headquarters reported: We are abolishing checkpoints
The Civil Protection Headquarters of Međimurje County informs the public that according to the information of the Police Administration of Međimurje, the police are abolishing checkpoints among
counties. The e-pass system has been suspended until further notice. The Croatian Mountain Rescue Service sent seven people from Međimurje to help in Petrinja.

The Public Fire Brigade and the Voluntary Fire Brigade of Međimurje have been put on alert to leave the affected areas. The Red Cross will coordinate the collection of humanitarian aid and will send a message to the public when more information is known.

16:29 The whole of Croatia is wondering: How to help Petrinja?
Thousands of people respond to the addresses and numbers, as well as on their Facebook profiles, with one wish and the question: how to help?

MORE HERE

16:20 Zagreb helps Petrinja
The City of Zagreb has sent emergency teams to the Emergency Management Office in Petrinja and Sisak, firefighters trained to rescue from the rubble, a special container containing rescue equipment, 100 beds, five tents and tarpaulins to cover the roofs. Assistance is also provided by eight Zagreb ambulance teams and members of the City Society of the Red Cross Zagreb, the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service-Zagreb Station and the Zagreb Amateur Radio Association.

In Petrinja and Sisak, 54 Zagreb firefighters and 12 fire trucks are on the ground, along with one fire truck that was sent to the affected area yesterday.

As of this morning, employees of the city offices have been on the ground in the area of ​​Sisak and Petrinja, where, together with teams of civil engineers, they are helping to establish a system for receiving the first quick inspections of damaged buildings and houses. The mayor sent a message that the City of Zagreb is making all its resources available to the affected area, the City of Zagreb reported.

16:04 Help is coming from all sides
A convoy of military excavators has just entered Petrinja

15:59 The death of another person has been confirmed
One person was killed in Majske Poljane.

15:46 An earthquake with an epicenter in Italy was felt in Croatia

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15:46 Teams of the Institute for Emergency Medical Aid of Varaždin County actively involved in helping the injured in Sisak-Moslavina County
Upon receiving a call from the Crisis Staff of the Ministry of Health, the Varaždin County Emergency Medical Service immediately sent an ambulance team and a medical team to help people affected by today's earthquake in Sisak-Moslavina County.

The emergency team has already transferred the first casualties from Petrinja to the Sisak Hospital, while the medical team will take the casualties to Sisak and drive them to the Zagreb hospitals if necessary.

It should be noted that the Institute for Emergency Medical Aid of Varaždin County has three more emergency teams in preparation if necessary.

15:42 Live from Petrinja, repairing the damage is starting after a huge earthquake

15:21 The Ministry of the Interior announced that they had revoked the passes for the Sisak-Moslavina County.

Citizens whose homes were damaged in the earthquake and have accommodation in another county can tell the police at the checkpoint the reason for leaving the county.

"Passes for Sisak-Moslavina County have been revoked! If citizens from other areas affected by the earthquake have the opportunity to stay in the neighboring county, and come across a police checkpoint, let them report the reasons to the police and they will be allowed to pass! Follow the measures!" said the Ministry of the Interior.

15:16 Church near Sisak completely destroyed, people trapped inside

In ŽAŽINA in the municipality of Lekenik near Sisak, a church was completely destroyed.

Damir Trut, deputy interior minister and commander of the Civil Protection, told RTL that two more are missing in the ruins under the church, several were injured.

"The first thing that needs to be done is to save the people who remained under the rubble, there are still only some in Zazina, and then it will be searched to see if anyone else is left. After that, the ruins are being cleared," Trut told RTL.

15:16 KBC Zagreb will receive 40 infected patients from Sisak
The Clinical Hospital Center Zagreb will receive about 40 Covid patients from the Sisak hospital, and all patients and staff of that hospital are in order and are returning to the buildings after the earthquake, according to the assistant director Milivoj Novak.

"Everything is under control, people panicked so they went out, now they are coming back," Novak said.

15:15 Istria sends help
The Civil Protection Headquarters of Istria County and the Fire Brigade of Istria County sent a total of 18 firefighters with search dogs from Istria County to the area of the town of Petrinja, which is most endangered by the consequences of the earthquake.

15:09 Osijek firefighters go to Petrinja
15 firefighters of the Public Utility Company of the city of Osijek trained to rescue from the ruins are going to Petrinja to help.

15:09 Plenković: We are canceling passes!
More details coming soon

15:08 International media writes about the violent earthquake in Croatia
The violent earthquake that hit a large part of Croatia is also reported by the world media.

Reuters reports that a magnitude 6.4 earthquake hit the Croatian city of Petrinja, about 50 kilometers from Zagreb, and added that emergency services reported that many people were injured and that videos of people being rescued from the rubble near the epicenter were arriving from the field. 

15:08 Beroš: Organized transport of patients from Petrinja to Zagreb
"Transport of eight intensive Covid patients to Dubrava, three intensive to Sisak, eight cardiology to Sestre milosrdnice and about 20 moderate to Zagreb was organized, and we are talking to the heads of psychiatric institutions to accommodate 100 people from Petrinja," Beroš said during the visit. Petrinja. 

15:08 Buildings in Zagreb Damaged by Latest Quake, No Casualties Reported - more HERE

15:02 Zagreb sent help to Petrinja
The city of Zagreb sent two intervention teams, a team with a container and firefighters trained to rescue from the rubble, a special container containing equipment to rescue from the rubble, 100 beds and five tents. Assistance is also provided by eight Zagreb ambulance teams and volunteers from the City Society of the Red Cross.

"Once again, we appeal to the citizens of Zagreb to ensure the unimpeded passage of emergency vehicles on the roads."

14:58 The Zagreb - Sisak highway will be free today and tomorrow
"Please inform the public through media channels that Croatian Motorways will provide all users with a free toll on the Zagreb-Sisak motorway from 3 pm to tomorrow until 10 pm."

14:54 More footage from Petrinja and Zagreb

 

14:53 Live from Petrinja

14:47 Head of Seismological Service: One big fault has started
"We have more epicentral areas. The African plate is pushing our plate and those tensions are so strong that there is a large amount of energy being released."

14:45 Istria County: We will give priority to passes for citizens who must go there
Also, the earthquake was felt in Istria County. According to current information, there is no knowledge of possible material damage. According to the earthquake map
risk of the Republic of Croatia for a return period of 500 years, the area of the County of Istria is in the area of earthquake intensity 7 ° according to the MSK scale, which is a zone of least risk. For citizens of the County of Istria who need to go to the area where the earthquake occurred, due to family members, or real estate - the Civil Protection Headquarters of the County of Istria will issue priority passes for movement between counties.

14:44 Von der Leyen after the new earthquake: the EU is with Croatia, the commissioner arrives
"Another devastating earthquake in Croatia, the second in the past two days. I spoke with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković again. We are ready to help. I asked Janez Lenarčič to travel to Croatia as soon as the situation allows. We stand by Croatia," said Von der Leyen on Twitter. 

14:43 Vučić: We are ready to provide any assistance to Croatia
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic says Serbia is ready to provide any assistance to Croatia after the violent earthquake. 

14:43 Due to the earthquake of the overloaded mobile and fixed network, the operators sent an appeal
"BECAUSE of the devastating earthquake that hit Petrinja and its surroundings, and was felt throughout Croatia and beyond, there was a heavy load on all mobile and fixed networks and users are asked to use telecom services reasonably to make connections more accessible to all who need help."

14:41 Hundreds gathered in front of the Zagreb hospital, patients carrying babies in their arms - PHOTOS

14:39 There are at least 20 injured in Petrinja
Two with serious injuries, 18 with minor ones, these are just those who were transported to the Sisak hospital. As a reminder, patients are also transported to Zagreb hospitals.

14:39 Milanovic: The center of Petrinja looks like Grozny in Chechnya
"The city center looks like Grozny in Chechnya. People are scared," Milanovic said.

"Petrinja will be renovated with money from the EU, I can tell you that for sure," he added

14:33 HEP: Turn off electricity 
Hrvatska elektroprivreda (HEP) has asked customers to turn off electricity to prevent network congestion when power is restored.

Parts of Zagreb are without electricity, and there is no electricity in cities affected by the earthquake.

14:33 Passes are revoked
Passes for the Sisak-Moslavina County are being canceled, and beyond, Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic told Jutarnji list. A decision is awaited to see what exactly that means.

14:29 PHOTO Earthquake severely damages the Ministry of Defense in Zagreb
The devastating earthquake with the epicenter near Petrinja, which was felt throughout Croatia at 12.19 pm, was 6.2, the Seismological Service reported, noting that material damage was expected. 

14:28 Huge damage to the Sisak hospital. 
The director of the Sisak hospital, Tomislav Dujmenović, told HRT that the damage to the hospital caused by the violent earthquake was enormous. 

14:23 Arena Zagreb will take care of coronavirus patients from Sisak-Moslavina County
Arena Zagreb Hospital will take care of COVID patients from Sisak-Moslavina County, it was announced on Tuesday.

14:22 What to do during and after an earthquake. Here are the important instructions
We urge citizens, if they are able, to go out into the open and move away from buildings that are in danger of collapsing," police said.

They also urged people to get off the roads.

"We urge citizens to stay away from the roads where there is traffic, and we ask drivers to pay attention to children and other people who move near the roads," warns the Ministry of the Interior. They warn drivers to reduce speed. 

14:20 Mayor of Sisak in tears: It's bad, half of the city administration building collapsed
The mayor of Sisak, Kristina Ikić Baniček, responded immediately after the earthquake to HRT's show "Studio 4" and said that the situation in Sisak was quite bad and that the quake was much stronger than yesterday. She added that all the people who were in the city administration building ran outside and half of the building collapsed.

14:15 Appeal in Zagreb: Remove cars from the road, emergency services cannot pass
After a strong earthquake in Petrinja, which was also felt in Zagreb and caused damage to previously damaged buildings, the Office for Emergency Management of the City of Zagreb appealed to Zagreb residents to get off the roads with cars because emergency services cannot pass. 

14:09 An Al Jazeera reporter reported live when the quake struck

 

14:08 Plenković: We will lift everything
Plenković arrived in Petrinja. "We are lifting everything, we have to put people somewhere, we are sending helicopters to pick up people," Plenković said.

14:07 Dumbović: We have dead children
"This has nothing to do with life. My city is completely destroyed. We have dead children. It can't be described. This is like Hiroshima. We need firefighters, we don't know what's under the surface, a roof fell on one car, we need help," said mayor of Petrinja Darinko Dumbović for HRT.

14:06 There are collapsed chimneys in Varaždin
In Varaždin County at 12:19 an earthquake was felt, which had its epicenter near Petrinja with a magnitude of 6.2 on the Richter scale. The County Center 112 and the Fire Operations Center received reports of about 10 collapsed chimneys and several cracks in the walls, mostly from the southern and southwestern part of the County, by 1.30 pm.

So far, no reports of injuries to citizens or major material damage have been received - said the Civil Protection Headquarters of Varaždin County.

13:56 There are injured in Zagreb
The information was published by Croatian Radio.

13:55 Bringing the injured from Petrinja
Prof. Slavko Sabalic, head of the Clinic for Traumatology in Draskoviceva, told Index that so far there is no information about the damage to the building, that all patients are well. "Now they are bringing the wounded from Petrinja and Sisak, I invited all the staff to come and we are all on standby," said Sabalic.

13:50 A girl died in an earthquake in Petrinja
The information was confirmed for HRT by Mayor Dumbović.

13:45 Petrinja collapsed after the earthquake

 

 

13:44 Everyone went to help Petrinja

Screenshot 2020-12-29 at 13.47.28.png

13:39 EMSC: Earthquake felt by about six million people
The European Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) estimated on Tuesday that a magnitude 6.2 earthquake in Petrinja was felt by six million people, according to Richter.

The US Geological Survey's (USGS) earthquake hazard program estimated that the quake was felt in Croatia in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Montenegro, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia and Austria.

13:38 Damage in Krapina-Zagorje County
After a strong earthquake that hit Croatia on Tuesday at 12.20 pm, reports of damaged buildings in Zabok, Klanjec and Kumrovec in the Krapina-Zagorje County, confirmed the prefect Željko Kolar.

Kolar said that the earthquake was felt in the entire county and that there was material damage.

"Several mayors and prefects have already called me. They said that their places and cities were damaged, that there was material damage. I just hope there are no human casualties, no more serious injuries. I still don't know that," said the prefect.

Emergency services went to the scene, and Kolar said that he could confirm that calls had come from the area of ​​the towns of Zabok and Klanjec and the municipality of Kumrovec for the need for firefighters' intervention.

"There are destroyed chimneys and we will have to remove the remains," said Kolar, adding that the earthquake was strongly felt in Krapina as well.

"There is damage to the County building. The walls have cracked both inside and out, but they are not of such proportions that one could not stay in the building. Right now, our janitors are inspecting to see the condition of the chimneys, because it is a busy street, so that it does not accidentally fall on someone, God forbid that someone gets hurt," said the Krapina-Zagorje County Prefect.

13:37 Međimurje on standby
The earthquake was also felt in the area of ​​Međimurje County, and the Civil Protection Headquarters of Međimurje County calls on the municipal and city Civil Protection Headquarters to check the possible damage in their area. All information can be obtained from the emergency services at 112.

All available forces in Međimurje have been made available to the population in the function of maximum readiness. According to the first information, the health institutions in the area of ​​Međimurje County did not suffer any damage.

13:35 Damage in Karlovac as well
A strong earthquake that hit Petrinja was also felt in Karlovac County. ŽVOC Karlovac records citizens' reports of damage to buildings in the area of Karlovac and Duga Resa. Firefighters are touring the locations according to reports from citizens, and given a large number of calls, citizens are asked to be patient.

Earlier this morning, at the command of the chief fire commander, due to the need to help eliminate the consequences of the earthquake in Sisak-Moslavina County, three firefighters were sent with the JVP of Karlovac and two firefighters with DVD Vojnić. Due to today's earthquake, an Intervention Fire Brigade of 30 firefighters will be sent to Petrinja with the necessary equipment and techniques for rescuing from the rubble, including the K-9 team of DVD Karlovac.

13:28 The gasworks announced what needs to be done
"We ask citizens to close the gas at the main valve located in the yellow cabinet at the building only in cases if they smell gas and if their chimney is broken or damaged, and to inform the City Gasworks Zagreb on 0800 400 400 or 01 6437 755, 01 6302 382, 01 6437 741. It is recommended to close the valve in front of the gas meter. "

13:27 Milanović is also on his way to Petrinja
A spokesman for the President's Office, Nikola Jelic, confirmed to Hina that President Milanovic was on his way to Petrinja.

13:26 Drone: All emergency services have been launched
Firefighters and all necessary services have been launched and are on their way to Petrinja to provide assistance, Civil Protection Director Damir Trut said on Tuesday after the quake, advising citizens to monitor the situation carefully and leave damaged facilities if they can.

Emergency number 112, ambulance and firefighters and all lines are operational and I believe that citizens will be able to contact them, Trut told N1 television on the way to Petrinja.

Answering a journalist's question, he said that, according to the information at his disposal, hospitals in Zagreb do not have major damage.

13:25 Earthquake near Petrinja caused unrest among BiH residents
A strong earthquake that hit Petrinja on Tuesday was also felt in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the ground trembled for about twenty seconds.

The quake affected most of the neighboring country, from Bihac to Sarajevo.

The quake caused unrest among residents of the neighboring state.

"Dnevni avaz" reports that there are reports of minor material damage to the facilities.

13:23 Zagreb police announced
On Tuesday, the Zagreb Police Department called on citizens to use personal vehicles only in emergencies.

They also call on citizens to follow other recommendations in the event of an earthquake.

There is a traffic collapse in Zagreb after a violent earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale with the epicenter near Petrinja. Most of the city is without electricity, and there is a traffic collapse on the roads.

13:21 Krško nuclear power plant stopped
The Krško nuclear power plant was stopped according to the usual procedure in case of major natural disasters, according to the agency - more HERE

The power plant was built to be resistant to much stronger earthquakes than those recorded so far in Slovenia or Croatia.

Its construction would withstand an impact of 7.9 degrees, which was the strongest devastating earthquake in the area of today's Slovenia, the one from the vicinity of Idrija in 1511.

13:20 Plenković is on his way to Petrinja
"On the way to Petrinja after another devastating earthquake in Sisak-Moslavina County, which was felt in many parts of Croatia. We mobilized all available services to help people and clear the destroyed parts. Now the most important thing is to save lives," Plenković wrote on Twitter.

13:15 Child killed
Mayor of Petrinja has revealed that one child has died - more HERE

Mayor Darinko Dumbović confirmed to 24 Sata that a child was killed in the earthquake in Petrinja. As he says, half of the city is destroyed.

"This is terrible. There are dead, there are injured. We saw one child die in the square. The center of Petrinja is destroyed. Our seven engineers were left buried in this building, but we managed to get them out. This is a disaster, send all the help you have," one of the engineers who went to assess the damage told us.

The area of Petrinja was hit by an earthquake of 6.2 on the Richter scale shortly after noon, reports EMSC.

13:10 The first footage of the earthquake arrives HERE

13:08 All services mobilized
All services were mobilized to help Petrinja.

13:06 Petrinja was destroyed
Screams and cries can be heard on the recordings of N1 Television, whose reporters appear live. A reporter reported that one child appeared to have been killed.

12:58 Kuk: Extremely strong earthquake
"6.2 magnitude, it is an extremely strong earthquake, there was an epicenter between Petrinja and Sisak. This earthquake is about thirty times stronger than the one in Zagreb due to the released energy. Zagreb is collapsing," Kuk told N1.

12:51 Police: Get out in the open, get away from buildings
"We urge citizens to go out into the open if they are able and move away from buildings that are in danger of collapsing," the police said.

12:47 Rescued child in Petrinja

98cd28c1-29cc-4987-88cc-40d88e8a11dd.jpg

12:44 Reactions to the terrible earthquake, felt across the country: "Literally the houses were swaying"

STRONG earthquake throughout Croatia. According to the EMSC, the power was 6.3 on the Richter scale, and the epicenter was 3 kilometers from Petrinja. After that quake, another smaller one was felt. More on Index.

12:43 There is no electricity or telephone in parts of Croatia

12:42 LIVE Video stream from the center of Zagreb after the violent earthquake

12:36 House collapsed on a car - "We managed to get one child out, he was in the car, everything collapsed, the owner is inside, but he is not answering," the young man told N1. "It's hard, I heard that the kindergarten collapsed, there were no children in the kindergarten, we don't know if we have any dead ...", says another.

f6a6954b-a168-4cbe-9574-5613ef5263a1.jpg

(Source N1)

12:33 In Sisak, half of the sports hall was allegedly demolished.

f6a6954b-a168-4cbe-9574-5613ef5263a1.jpg

12:30 - The view from Petrinje (credit N1)

 

Monday, 28 December 2020

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Central Croatia (& Update on Aftershocks)

December 28, 2020 - Another earthquake rocks central Croatia in 2020.

ARTICLE UPDATES:

Pokupsko: Initial Estimates Show Property Damage Caused by Earthquake Minimal

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

Damir Trut Talks Travel Passes for Petrinja Residents Following Quake

Milanovic and Plenkovic Visit Sisak and Petrinja After Earthquake

UPDATE: Two aftershocks were also felt in central Croatia, at 7:49 am and 7:51 am, waking up completely those who thought they might go back to sleep this Monday morning. The pair had their epicentres at a similar location, and their magnitudes were 4.7 and 4.1:

 

The Croatian Seismological Service reported that the earthquake was 5.0 magnitude: 

 

Namely, at 6:28 Monday morning, the quake was 5.2 magnitude, according to the first EMSC estimate. The epicenter of the earthquake was 49 km SE of Zagreb and 12 km NE of Sisak, felt mostly in and around Petrinja.

The quake occurred 2 km below the ground, according to Hina. 

Screenshot 2020-12-28 at 07.41.10.png

Recall that in March, Zagreb and its surroundings were hit by two earthquakes of similar strength. At dawn on March 22, at 6:23 am, Zagreb was hit by a magnitude 5.5 earthquake. After that, five more earthquakes occurred, of magnitude 3 to 5 on the Richter scale. 

Mayor Milan Bandic sent a message to the people of Zagreb: "Unfortunately, we have again felt a strong earthquake in the Zagreb area. Fortunately, for now, there is no information on serious damage, and I hope it will remain so. However, in case anyone is in need, free telephone lines are open (0800 8802 and 0800 8805) through which you can ask for help or necessary assistance from city services. This is a difficult year for all of us but we must be together and we must not forget about health and the invisible enemy at this time."

The Civil Protection. HQ also shared a statement this morning: "According to the Seismological Service, an earthquake of magnitude 5.0 on the Richter scale, Intensity VII of the EMS scale, was recorded in the Petrinja area on December 28 at 06:28. According to the first information, reports of damaged buildings and vehicles have been received, and so far there is no information on injuries. Citizens are asked to comply with the measures in force to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus infection if they need to leave their homes due to the earthquake."

Free telephone lines have been opened through which the citizens of Zagreb can request help and assistance from the city services after the earthquake.  The phone numbers are 0800 8802 and 0800 8805.

Quite a lot of damage has been reported in Petrinja, Sisak, Glina and in the region. No damage has been reported in Zagreb so far.

More news soon... Hopefully, we won't update this article with any news of additional aftershocks.

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

Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Google Search Croatia: What Did Croatia Google Search Most in 2020?

December 9, 2020 – It's been a funny old year. Funny as in unusual. Not so much funny haha. The extraordinary nature of the year is reflected in the most-popular Croatia Google search list for 2020, which has just been published. This year's searches hold a stark contrast to last year's.

In 2019, the end-of-year list for Croatia Google search was dominated by results for sporting fixtures, celebrities and entertainment. Although the EU election results and the long-running teacher's strike in Croatia also scored highly in 2019, this year has been dominated by searches of an even more serious and pressing nature.

It will come as no surprise to anyone that the number one Croatia Google search for 2020 was Coronavirus. The global pandemic is likely to top lists all over the world. In this country, its ramifications also created several other high-ranking inclusions on the Croatia Google search list 2020.

Software Google Classroom and Office 365 za škole also feature in the top 10 Croatia Google search list 2020, as parents and students coped with the closure of teaching institutions and prepared to learn and receive lectures online. Another piece of online tech that features in the top 10 was ePropusnica, the travel pass required for inter-regional travel and international travel by car during the various stages of lockdown. If these results are anything to go by, Coronavirus has dominated the lives of Croatians in 2020.

Another big Croatia Google search term in 2020 was Zagreb earthquake. For anyone in Zagreb at the time of the first large tremor, this will also come as little surprise – it was the biggest earthquake experienced for 100 years in Croatia, and it came without warning. Though lasting just a few seconds, there was no reaction more immediate than that of city residents, who ran out into the streets partially clothed. Thousands must have searched the term to find out what was happening, and also after many of the hundreds of aftershocks that have followed.

Here's the list of biggest Croatia Google search terms in 2020

The most-popular Croatia Google search terms in 2020

1. Koronavirus
2. Google Classroom
3. Office 365 za škole
4. Potres Zagreb (Earthquake Zagreb)
5. Kobe Bryant
6. ePropusnica
7. Izbori SAD (US elections)
8. DIP
9. Joe Biden
10. Masoni (Masons)

The most-popular Croatia Google search apps in 2020

1. ePropusnice
2. Zoom
3. Andrija

The most-popular Croatia Google search events in 2020

1. Potres (Earthquake)
2. Izbori SAD (US elections)
3. Izbori (elections) 

Aside from the inclusion of the Masons (freemasons), the list is understandable on an international level. It perhaps tells us something about how Croatians use the search engine and how well they respect it as a source for delivering credible information. With Coronavirus vaccines now announced and, all hope, the biggest potential earthquake out of the way, for now, it's understandable for most Croatians to be looking forward to the return of more trivial matters dominating their Google searches in 2021.

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

'From Earthquake to Earthquake 1880-2020' Exhibition Opens

ZAGREB, November 25, 2020 - An exhibition called "From Earthquake to Earthquake 1880-2020" was opened at the Museum of Arts and Crafts on Tuesday, marking the museum's 140th anniversary.

Among those attending were President Zoran Milanovic and Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Korzinek.

Over the past 150 years, compared with other cities in Europe, Zagreb has actually suffered very little in this earthquake area, an area of unrest, war, suffering, killing. Zagreb has been trampled, destroyed, set on fire, bombed relatively little compared with them, the president said.

"May this which happened at the end of March this year be and remain one of the biggest afflictions we... experienced," the president said, referring to the March earthquake.

Zagreb is a beautiful city, among the 20 most beautiful in Europe, and it "is waiting to be finally and definitely touched up, which will require a partnership between citizens, owners, the city and the Croatian state," said Milanovic

Minister Obuljen Korzinek said the exhibition was aimed at showing people just a small piece of the damage museums and cultural assets in Zagreb sustained in the March earthquake.

She recalled that the European Parliament decided on Monday to give Croatia €680 million from the Solidarity Fund to deal with the aftermath of the earthquake, including over €100 million intended for the reconstruction of the cultural heritage.

Friday, 20 November 2020

After Tumultuous 2020, Investors Think Twice About Zagreb Property

November the 20th, 2020 - Trends in life outside of big cities triggered by the pandemic had a greater impact on the decline in the sale of Zagreb property than the consequences of the earthquake did, according to the author of an expert article published on HNBlog on Monday.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the authors of the expert article "The impact of the pandemic and the earthquake on the property market in Zagreb in the first half of 2020" saw the CNB's Davor Kunovac and Karlo Kotarac analyse the simultaneous impact of the earthquake which occurred back in March this year and the pandemic declared on March the 11th.

The two experts looked into the formation of real estate prices in Zagreb and have constructed a number of specific indicators of the Zagreb property market using data from the Tax Administration on the sale of said property.

A reduction of 10 percent

"The analysis showed that during May and June, the prices of Zagreb property being sold in the very centre and in Donji Grad, where buildings seriously damaged during the earthquake was the most densely distributed, decreased by 10 percent compared to the same period last year," the authors say.

According to that same data, "the number of properties sold in Zagreb in the first half of 2020 is approximately 22 percent lower when compared to what was sold in the same period last year and for now, it doesn't seem dramatic if we take into account the usual trends in transactions in previous years.

Namely, Kunovac and Kotarac note that the intra-annual dynamics of the number of sold properties changed back in 2017 with the introduction of the housing loan subsidy programme and a large number of transactions are now concentrated within a short time interval in which subsidy applications are opened.

However, unlike the previous two years, the decline in the number of transactions this time has lasted significantly longer, until May 2020, when, in parallel with the easing of epidemiological measures and a new round of housing subsidies, the number of transactions again approached the average recorded over the previous two years.

"The number of properties sold within the city and especially in Donji Grad, where the properties damaged in the earthquake was most densely distributed, has halved in recent months," said Kunovac and Kotarac. However, they also pointed out that the reduced tendency to buy Zagreb property in the very heart of the city center should not be entirely attributed to the earthquake.

"The indicators illustrate that the number and share of transactions related to the earthquake-damaged zone begins to decline a few weeks before the earthquake actually struck. This decline in activity in the real estate market coincides with the beginning of the pandemic when the process of buying and selling real estate was significantly hampered by the introduction of epidemiological measures.

The reduced activity in this area is in line with the increased attractiveness of living outside of the city centre and new trends in people's lifestyles which were triggered by the pandemic, such as social distancing or working from home,'' the authors of the article emphasised.

Not only newer apartments are desired...

The pandemic, as they further state, is closely related to the reduced demand for tourism in Zagreb. As a result, there is less demand for Zagreb property in the heart of the city that would otherwise have had a tourism-related purpose, while, at the same time, the supply of apartments for long-term rent or purchase in that part of the city is indeed growing.

Their analysis also suggests that a change in buyer ''preferences'' for living outside the city centre after the earthquake is not, as is sometimes claimed, largely determined by increased demand for newer properies built after 1964 when the first earthquake-building regulations were enacted in the city.

Namely, a comparison of the price index of older properies in Zagreb showed that the price of these buildings located in the old part of the city fell in the analysed time, while the price of propertoes built before 1964 in other parts of the city rose in that period.

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Thursday, 29 October 2020

Meet Zagreb Volunteers, the Heart and Soul of the City

October 29, 2020 - TCN joins Zagreb Volunteers Centre in Čučerje to find out who are the Zagreb volunteers and why they do what they do. Čučerje is a semi-rural community which lies at the epicentre of the March 2020 earthquake.

By the time we ran out of the building, the first tremor had stopped. At 6:25am, the asphalt road lay quiet and motionless. People in pyjamas, nightgowns or underwear stood on the pavement. Others emerged even later. Although masonry in other parts of the city continued to fall, the 5.5 magnitude earthquake that visited Zagreb on 22 March 2020 was over. It had lasted much less than a minute. Its repercussions would last much longer.

1442px-Oštećena_zgrada_Đorđićeva.jpgDamage to a Zagreb city-centre building in the 2020 earthquake © Franjo Tahy

The tragic news of a fatality filtered through the media several hours later, as did pictures of the devastation visited upon the Croatian capital's buildings. Some of its oldest were hit particularly hard. However, most modern constructions had emerged largely unscathed. Acknowledging the area's seismic capabilities, everything built after the 1963 earthquake of Skopje in neighbouring Macedonia had been constructed to withstand such force.

Offers of help soon began to arrive from overseas. Despite international struggles related to Coronavirus, many still had sympathy upon hearing of the Zagreb earthquake. This outside sympathy and the media that prompted it were rarely directed to the semi-rural communities which experienced the earthquake's fiercest force.

_MG_7323.jpegThe front of the town church in Čučerje, surrounded by scaffolding seven months after the earthquake

The small town of Čučerje is just short of 11 kilometres to the north-east of Zagreb city centre. In late October, the town looks impossibly pretty – houses perched in the foothills of Mount Medvednica, surrounded by greenery and trees exploding in a myriad of autumn shades. But, behind the colourful exterior lies a hidden suffering.

_MG_7314.jpegThe spire of Čučerje's church is scarred on all sides by long-veined cracks

Čučerje lies just 500 metres from the epicentre of the earthquake. Scaffolding bolsters the town church, its spire scarred on all sides by long-veined cracks. Back from the main road, down simple, country lanes, sit houses much older than those standng proud above the centre. Here, life still exists in a way similar to that of the original residents of such dwellings. Elderly neighbours are preparing to heat their homes by wood-fired burners, chasing away the chill seeping in through the cracks the earthquake has left. As winter approaches, such hardships are not always reported as loudly as those faced by the damaged cultural institutions holding priceless collections in the capital. But, the struggle does not go unnoticed by Zagreb Volunteers Centre (VCZ).

_MG_7306.jpegČučerje residents and members of Zagreb Volunteers Centre meet in the community centre to plan the day's action

Established in 1998, Zagreb Volunteers Centre acts as a conduit between charities, communities and non-profit organisations who need support and those willing to donate their time to good causes. Since it was formed, over 18, 000 people have submitted their names to the centre as potential Zagreb volunteers who may be called upon. The centre has helped over 700 organisations find Zagreb volunteers.

“Before 1996, there was a set-up that facilitated international volunteering - it helped connect Croatians with international actions that were looking for help,” says 28-year-old Dunja Hafner, who works for Zagreb Volunteers Centre. “But, it was noticed that some people couldn't commit to an overseas trip and that others simply just preferred only to volunteer locally. The logical step was to move into facilitating that.”

_MG_7338.jpegZagreb volunteers gather in the early morning mist

“Since we started, the numbers of Zagreb volunteers in our database has grown steadily. But, over more recent times, volunteering does seem to have become a more popular thing to do. And, many people have put their names forward for volunteering since the advent of the earthquake. In the immediate aftermath, there were so many people volunteering that we had to just direct people to the specific groups who were appealing for help. We even had to turn down some Zagreb volunteers who offered their time. That had never previously happened in the history of the organisation. Now, we are managing better and we help co-ordinate some of the actions ourselves.”

“Before the earthquake, the main volunteering areas to which we would send people were actions for children, the elderly, events like culture, sports and music festivals, animals, ecology projects and nature conservation.”

_MG_7399.jpegMy name is Dražen Blažević (centre), I was born in Croatia. My mother and grandparents are all from Zagreb. This is the city where I live. At the moment, I don't have regular employment, so I can afford to give my time to an action like this. While I'm looking for a full-time job, I make ends meet by doing food deliveries on my bicycle. Why am I here today? Honestly, it was only two weeks ago that I just had this feeling that I should give my time to help people. In one minute I decided I would volunteer. Before this, the kind of help I would give was only to my neighbours, the elderly relatives of friends. People like that. As an official volunteer, this is my first time. Maybe this sounds a little selfish, but I thought it would make me feel good.

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_MG_7368.jpegMy name is Alexandra and I am from Čučerje. I live here with my family. Right now, I am without a full-time job, so I take on some other daily obligations – I accompany kids to kindergarten and school, and I help out in our local church. I look after their social media pages for them. I also play the organ in the church. It was a very simple decision for me to join in with today's action – I live here. I walk past the devastation left by the earthquake every day. This town has experienced lots of problems because of the damage. For me, giving my time today is a way of showing the love I have for my town and the people who live here. Well, something like that.

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_MG_7516.jpegMy name is Borut Babanić (right) and I'm from Zagreb. I work as a project manager. I wanted to volunteer so I could help people. The residents of Čučerje are some of the worst affected by the earthquake and so that's why I want to come here specifically. I wanted them to not feel that they are alone. This is the first time I joined an action via the Zagreb Volunteer Centre.

My name is Antonio Frinčić (left). I'm from Zagreb. I work for the Croatian Foundation For Children. It's an organisation that assists in looking after children and families who have small incomes or limited means. It's a state-funded organisation. My position there is a paid one. This is not the first voluntary work I've undertaken, but it is the first time I have volunteered through the Zagreb Volunteer Centre. My answer is the same as Borut's – I came here because I wanted to help these people.

Borut and Antonio are pictured side-by-side because they spent most of the day working together. When they arrived in the morning, they were strangers. They left as friends.


_MG_7371.jpegMy name is Marina Krolo and I'm originally from Split. I studied in Zagreb, finished university here and then stayed. My regular role in society is that I'm a tour guide and tour leader. That pretty much means that this is my year off, ha! There's not much work for a tour guide in 2020, so I'm trying to put my free time to good use. This is the first time I've volunteered through Zagreb Volunteer Centre.

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_MG_7357.jpegMy name is Vincent Matijaca. I was born in Split. I'm based in Zagreb now. We opened a company BioCro LTD in the United Kingdom a few months ago. What we're trying to do is assist small producers and OPGs from this region to place their products internationally, including the UK and other countries in Europe. Why am I here today? Well, we believe that you can't start promoting sustainability and help solely from the office, we believe our project to be more hands-on. By doing that we hope to be able to show what we're about, and to set an example that perhaps others will follow. We've previously joined actions through other Croatian volunteer organisations and others internationally, but this is the first time we've done so through Zagreb Volunteer Centre.

_MG_7512.jpegLocal people from Čučerje and the surroundings had prepared food to make sure the volunteers didn't go hungry. This dish was made and donated by a local hairdresser. It is a local speciality called tenka gibanica. It was delicious.

_MG_7393.jpegMy name is Tomislav Vlajčić and I'm from Zagreb. At the moment, my regular time is spent studying economy and training football. I'm the team leader of a faculty-related group Tourism Lab that's interested in that area of our economy. This is my first time volunteering. I decided to come because it's a good opportunity to help people who are in need and I'm really glad I came. The experience was really worth it and meeting new people, seeing a slightly different culture is priceless. I would recommend it to anyone because it all starts with us.

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