Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.
Dubrovnik is again a world record holder, but this time it has nothing to do with the tourism industry. Due to the unbelievable amount of rain that fell on the city early this morning Dubrovnik was officially the wettest city in the city over the past 24 hours with almost double the amount of rain of any other of the 6,000 world destination measured.
An incredible 260 litres of rain per metre squared fell on the city in a five-hour period from 2.00 am to 7.00 am!
This is the most rain since 1961 and more rain than has fallen on Dubrovnik than in the whole of the past six months. Dubrovnik had twice as much rain in a few hours than cities in India and Sri Lanka that are at the end of their monsoon season.
“I can’t remember rain like this ever before, it was like the sky opened a bath full of water was dropped, no not a bath a swimming pool,” commented Alan Walters for The Dubrovnik Times.
Roads flooded, trees fell down and the fire brigade were called to almost 100 different interventions to pump flood water out of shops, homes and businesses. However, this was hardly surprising given the sheer weight of water.
River Ombla turns brown - Photo Tonci Vlasic
Speaking to The Dubrovnik Times Daniel Pavlinović from Storm Chasers Dubrovnik commented that “The amount of rain in such a short period of time was just unseen. Traditionally the wettest month in Dubrovnik in November and on average 147 litres per metres squared fall throughout the whole month. In just a couple of hours we had more rain than the whole of the wettest month in the city, just incredible.”
Flooded building site in Dubrovnik - Photo Boris Radić/Hanza Media
To add some perspective according to figures from the Metrological Office in the UK the capital London receives around 557 litres per metres squared annually. Do the maths. More rain fell in five hours on Dubrovnik than six months in London.
The second wettest city in the world was Ratmalana in Sri Lanka which received 134 litres per metre squared and in third place was Surigao in the Philippines that saw 133 litres. In fact, the Dubrovnik region dominated the top ten with Konavle coming in eighth position with a whopping 99 litres.
Dubrovnik a world beater - Photo Ogimet.com
Zagreb police have reported that a 23-year-old and four 18-year-olds have been charged with stealing 38 bicycles in the capital from the beginning of this year. Almost all of the bicycles stolen were taken in front of shopping malls in the capital and the vast majority were secured with a chain.
However, the group of bike thieves used industrial style cutters to free the bikes and then rode them away. It is estimated that the value of the stolen bicycles is around 90,000 Kunas. The bike band resold the stolen bikes and would then split the profits.
Summer ended with a bang in Dubrovnik as an explosive thunderstorm struck the region last night. Torrential rains started falling at around 4.00 am and lightening hammered down all around the city. The rains fell so heavily that they caused instant flooding, Dubrovnik firefighters were called to 30 separate interventions, mostly involving pumping flooded homes and business premises.
Roads are flooded and authorities are warning drivers to take extra care on the roads today due to the slippery conditions.
The Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service has warned that “Thundershowers and flash floods, locally possible severe! rainfall 15-45 mm; lightning risk 60-80 % STAY ALERT for possible heavy thunderstorms. Be especially careful in high-exposure areas such as mountains, forests, meadows and open grounds. Interruptions in outdoor activities are possible.”
However, the bad weather is also predicted to last only today with sunshine and more stable weather expected to return tomorrow and remain for the rest of the week.
Following the commemorative program on the occasion of marking the 27th anniversary of the attack on Dubrovnik in the Old City of Dubrovnik the service moved to the top of the Srd Mountain. Representatives of the City of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik – Neretva County said prayers and laid wreaths as they paid tribute to the brave men and women who defended Dubrovnik in one of the darkest pages in its history.
On this day, the 1st of October, 27 years ago the city was attacked by forces of the Yugoslav National Army in what was the beginning of a military action that would see the city under siege and without water, communications or electricity for the following three months.
The unemployment rate in Croatia continues to drop and in August this year was one of the lowest rates in the European Union. In August the overall rate of unemployment in the European union was 6.8 percent, according to new data released today by Eurostat.
And once again Croatia was ranked among the group of countries with the biggest unemployment rate drops.
There are approximately 16.6 million people out of work in the EU, as of August this year. The highest unemployment rates were seen in Greece and Spain. However, across all EU members the rate of unemployment fell in August, with the largest decreases were registered in Cyprus (from 10.5 to 7.5 percent), Croatia (from 10.9 to 8.5 percent), Greece (from 21.3 to 19.1 percent between June 2017 and June 2018) and Portugal (from 8.8 to 6.8 percent).
In August 2018, the unemployment rate in Croatia was 8.5 percent, or 0.2 percentage points down from July 2018. A total of 154,000 Croatians were jobless in August 2018, or 3,000 fewer than in July.
One of the largest telecommunications companies in Croatia, Vipnet telecom, has rebranded itself to A1. In a press conference held in Zagreb today the company stated that as of the 1st of October all of the company's clients and services will be using this new brand.
In one single move the telecoms company went from the back of the phone book to the very beginning. Speaking about the reasons for the rebranding after spending 19 years carrying its old name, Vipnet Croatia CEO, Jiri Dvorjancansky, said that the company wished to adapt to its clients' new habits, and needs as well as to new technologies and digital processes on the global market. He failed to mention that the company just climbed the alphabet considerably.
Dvorjancansky added that in the next three years A1 Croatia would invest around €300 million in upgrading network infrastructure and services, and noted that new generation 5G networks were essential for new services which increasingly rely on artificial intelligence, robotisation, and other technologies.
A1 Telekom Austria Group operates in seven countries and provide services for approximately 24 million customers.
Could the newest member of the European Union be following the lead of the UK and leaving just a few years after it joined? If the opposition party “Human Shield” gets into power then Croexit will happen according to their leader Ivan Vilibor Sinic.
"Now those in Europe are very afraid that so-called populists will take over the European Parliament at the next election. We have never seen Europe as a community that will help us when we need help and whom we will help when they need help, but we have seen it as a group of alienated bureaucrats where corporations and banks wield strong influence and where there is very little democracy," commented Sincic for the HINA news agency.
And it isn’t only the EU that Sinic wants to leave, he would also take Croatia out of NATO.
“There is a huge democratic deficit surrounding the European Commission. Europe has huge problems, not only because of migration, but also because of mutual relations, the euro crisis, etc. From Croatia's point of view, Europe has done more damage than good to Croatia. We are a country on Europe's periphery, Europe has got human and economic resources from us and we have got much less in return," he said.
Even though support for Human Shield is growing, especially in and around Zagreb, they currently only have three members in the Croatian parliament and have yet to gain a member of the European Parliament although Sincic commented that they were preparing for the elections in May 2019.
The causes of the recent forest fires in the Dubrovnik – Neretva County are currently being investigated. It has so far been concluded that the fires near Metković were caused by open fires or burning embers that spread from a household or farm, the investigation is still under way to find the culprits.
Burnt out building near Orebic - Photo CROPIX
Furthermore, by an eyewitness at the fires that broke out in Konavle on the 26th of September stated that the fires were started by a spark from an overhead electrical line. It is believed that the same problem that caused the fires in Peljesac around the town of Orebić.
It would appear from eye witness reports that gale force northerly winds blew over an electrical pylon and the sparks caused the forest fire to ignite in the hills above Orebić.