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.
There are 235 people infected with coronavirus in Croatia as 29 new cases were confirmed this morning at a press conference at the National Civil Protection Headquarters.
The Minister of the Interior stated that in light of the series of strong earthquakes that shook the Croatian capital this morning that coronavirus is far more dangerous and indeed more challenging than the earthquakes.
"You have all the relevant information at your disposal at this time. On behalf of the Civil Protection Staff of the Republic of Croatia, I can guarantee that we will continue communication as we have before, and in the ongoing coronavirus crisis, which is, in our estimations, a greater challenge, than this earthquake,” added the Minister.
Due to the earthquake in Zagreb, the results of 35 samples sent from Dubrovnik-Neretva County yesterday have not yet arrived, but in the past experience, it is expected that a larger number will be positive, the press conference of the County Civil Protection Headquarters said.
Due to the six strong earthquakes that shook Zagreb this morning, an emergency summit was held this morning.
“This morning's earthquakes have been the strongest in the last 140 years. We urge all citizens to exercise caution. For now, we will recommend that everyone be outside the buildings,'' said the Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic, after a meeting at the National Library, after which he went on a tour of downtown Zagreb to check on the extent of the damage.
“We will intensify all activities and manage this crisis as well as the coronavirus crisis. We ask all citizens to listen exclusively to the advice,” the Prime Minister emphasized.
He added that the army and all departments of the City of Zagreb have been hired to start clearing the damage in Zagreb and will endeavour to repair the roads as soon as possible.
“We will hire experts to inspect the buildings. No one can now know how badly damaged the buildings are, especially the older ones. There will be a special focus on hospitals,'' added Plenkovic.
The first of six earthquakes, and the strongest quake, awoke resident of Zagreb at exactly 6.24 this morning and reached a magnitude 5.3. The epicentre of the earthquake was seven kilometres north of Zagreb near Kašina, at a depth of ten kilometres.
Then at 7.03am the second earthquake with a magnitude of 5.0 again shook the city centre and the third with a magnitude of 3.7. There is plenty of damage in Zagreb, especially in the city centre, with roofs and facades damaged. Many vehicles were also destroyed as stone work came crashing down. And one of the spires of the iconic Zagreb Cathedral also crashed to the ground.
Many citizens took to the streets and public spaces of the capital, although social distancing dur to coronavirus was necessary. "We are asking citizens who took to the streets due to earthquakes and subsequent jolts to keep the distance needed to counter the spread of the virus," announced the Croatian Police on Twitter.
At 9.04 a fourth earthquake was felt with a magnitude of 3.1 at a depth of seven kilometres, six kilometres north of Zagreb. And then the fifth after shake at 9.10 am with a magnitude of 3.0, followed by the last and sixth earthquake to shake Zagreb today at 10.11 with a magnitude of 3.2 and a depth of five kilometres, six kilometres southeast of the capital.
On Saturday evening, the Chief of Civil Protection Staff, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Davor Bozinovic sent a letter to the addresses of all county staffs to announce a decision on the opening hours of shops across the country. The new working hours across Croatia will see shops allowed to open from 8:00 in the morning until 5:00pm.
“In order to protect employees in shops which, in accordance with the decision on measures to restrict social gatherings, work in commerce, services and holding sports and cultural events, these stores are allowed to remain open from 8:00am to 5:00pm,” read the statement.
Civil protection staff are obliged to ensure the implementation and supervision of this decision.
The Croatian capital was rocked by three earthquakes this morning.
The first measured 5.3 on the Richter Scale and hit Zagreb at 6.23. Then at 7:03 another earthquake measuring 5.0 struck, before a third at 7:41 ended the three earthquake series at 3.7 on the Richter Scale.
A 15-year-old child is in critical condition after the earthquakes that rocked Zagreb this morning, confirmed on Sunday the Zagreb Institute of Emergency Medicine, to Hina.
“We received a report of the collapse of the building at Djordjiceva 13. An ambulance team took to the field and found a seriously injured child," commented Zarko Rasic, director of the Emergency Medicine Institute.
Goran Roic, the director of the Klaiceva Children's Hospital, said on Sunday that the severely injured 15-year-old is in a very critical condition and is undergoing additional diagnostics. Roic commented for the news network N1 that "The child is very, very critical, but we are still doing further and doing everything we can."
A series of three earthquakes rocked Zagreb this morning with the first crashing into the capital at 6.23 this morning and measuring an alarming 5.3 on the Richter scale. The second shook the Croatian capital just over half an hour later when at 7.03 and measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale the full effects were felt. And finally the third in the series shook Zagreb at 7.41 and measured 3.7.
Large parts of the capital were left without electricity after the first earthquake shook the city and facades and buildings were damaged.
Three earthquakes hit Zagreb - Photo The Dubrovnik Times
One of the ancient and iconic spires of the Zagreb Cathedral came crashing down and has changed the skyline of the capital.
"This was a strong earthquake, but much weaker than the one that struck the city in 1880. Quite possibly the first one was a major earthquake, but we cannot know in advance. There will certainly be subsequent earthquakes, some of which will feel very much like this one today, " commented Marijan Herak of the Geophysical Department of the Faculty of Science in Zagreb to HRT.
Streets closed in Zagreb - Photo The Dubrovnik Times
Many citizens of Zagreb left their homes and apartment after the first quake struck and gathered in public spaces away from tall buildings. Of course in the current coronavirus pandemic they also had to be careful to keep their distance from other people.
Damage to buildings across the heart of the capital is severe with facades and some vehicles completely destroyed. There are reports that some people have been trapped in their apartments but so far there is no news of any injuries or fatalities.
Vechiles destroyed as facades come crashing down - Photo The Dubrovnik Times
Two massive earthquakes rocked the Croatian capital this morning. The first hit at 6.23 and was 5.3 on the Richter scale, and then at 7.03 a further earthquake hit at 5.0 on the Richter scale.
The early morning quakes awoke Zagreb and caused damage to building across the capital, with some areas left without electricity.