Sunday, 24 January 2021
Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

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.


During the winter months, especially when the south winds blow, the heavy seas bring with them a flotilla of plastic waste. And over the past few days with the grey skies and strong southerly winds the beaches of Dubrovnik have been littered with waste again. From a plastic canoe to shoes and of course a whole range of plastic bottles, there was even an uprooted tree. A reader sent these photos of the popular beach in the Bay of Lapad.

Whilst the southerly winds bring warmer temperatures, they also carry rain and overcast skies. The weather forecast predicts even more rain and changeable weather until at least the end of this week and well into the New Year.



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The whole of Croatia reacted to the catastrophic earthquake that struck the region of Petrinja in central Croatia yesterday. Donations of money and much need items were soon flowing in to collection points up and down Croatia. The vast majority of these points were organised by private individuals and soon, thanks to word of mouth and social media, they became magnets for citizens wishing to donate to help.

Businesses and government institutions also stepped up and donated both money and goods. For example, the major cities of the Dalmatian coast, Split, Sibenik, Zadar and Dubrovnik all cancelled their planned New Year celebrations and instead donated the funds to the City of Petrinja. But this was not the only example, as layers of Croatia deployed to the maximum.

Croatia shows its heart collections for earthquake victims up and down the country and here is how you can help

And Dubrovnik, just as the rest of the country, showed its humanitarian heart with numerous actions to collect food, hygiene products, blankets, coats and sleeping bags, just about everything was welcome, and they all arrived in huge numbers. From Cavtat to the north of the county, various organisations pulled their members to organise drop-offs. Rent-a-car business donated their vehicles free of charge to many of these actions, so that they collected items could be transported to central Croatia.



One of these hastily organised drop-off points was the Citroen service in Gruz where a large amount of donated items arrived last night. And of course volunteers were on hand to sort and organise all the worthy donations.

And financial help is still needed. If you wish to donate funds to the people affected by the earthquake in Petrinja and Sisak. The Croatian Red Cross has a special website (in English) that shows you how you, and indeed private businesses, can easily donate much needed funds to the action.

Here is a link to that website 


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After the devastating earthquake that destroyed Petrinja and the surrounding areas yesterday, the ground shook a further three times early this morning.

Yesterday’s earthquake that hit this central Croatia region measure 6.2 on the Richter scale and was reportedly at a depth of only 2 kilometres. Seven people lost their lives in the earthquake and material damage to the entire region was extensive.

And this morning three further quakes, aftershocks, hit the same region. According to information from the Seismological Service of the Republic of Croatia this morning, December 30, three separate earthquakes shook the region, the first at 6.15am, followed by another one at 6.26 and the last at 6.29am.

These were relatively strong earthquakes, the first measured 4.7 on the Richter scale, the second 4.8 and the last 3.9, and all three had an epicentre not far from Petrinja.


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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.

The statement explained that the control tower Zagreb suffered damage in the earthquake today, and immediately after that the airport air traffic control service was suspended.

After an inspection of the building the Croatian Air Navigation Services reopened in the mid-afternoon.

The devastating earthquake hit Petrinja and Sisak-Moslavina County at 12:19 p.m. The European Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) estimated it to have a magnitude of 6.2 according to Richter, and was felt by six million people.


Red Cross Dubrovnik has joined the appeal of the Croatian Red Cross and is collecting donations to help with the recovery of Petrinja after today’s horrific earthquake.

Red Cross Dubrovnik have announced that donations can be delivered to the Sports Centre in Gospino polje tomorrow, December 30, from 10.00am to 6.00pm.

And the Red Cross have produced a list of the items most needed.


Flour 1kg
Oil - vegetable or sunflower 1 litre
Rice 1kg
Sugar 1kg
Salt 1kg
Pasta - Macaroni or spaghetti
Packet Soup
Tinned fish
Tinned meat
Sweet spread - Marmalade, chocolate, etc.
UHT Milk 1 litre
Water - 0.5, 1, 1.5, 5 litre
Dried fruits
Nuts - Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, etc.


Soap for hands
Disposable razors
Wet wipes
Toilet rolls
Sanitary pads
Cotton buds


Medical masks
Protective suits
Glasses or eye protection
Alcoholic hand sanitizer (antiseptic, antibacterial)
Alcohol-based wipes


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The mayors of Dubrovnik, Split, Sibenik and Zadar, on Tuesday after the devastating earthquake that hit Petrinja, agreed on a video meeting to cancel the planned New Year's programs and decided that each city immediately pay 150,000 Kuna to help the city of Petrinja.

At the same time, they started coordinating all emergency services and made available all the necessary resources from mechanization, accommodation capacities to further financial assistance.

"We express our condolences and solidarity due to the consequences of the strong earthquake that hit Petrinja and the Petrinja region. We deeply regret the tragic loss of life and the damage caused, and we wish a speedy recovery to the injured. Our cities are at your disposal and we are ready to provide assistance," the mayors said in a joint statement.


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The Interior Ministry (MUP) reported on Tuesday that the e-pass system had been suspended and that police across Croatia were abolishing checkpoints between counties. This lockdown of inter-county travel was introduced to combat the spread of Covid-19 across Croatia, however due to the shocking earthquake that hit Croatia today the system has been stopped in order to allow people to travel.

"Police throughout the Republic of Croatia are abolishing checkpoints between counties. The e-pass system has been suspended," the Ministry of the Interior announced.

"Adhere to epidemiological measures, reduce the speed of vehicles and do not rush," advises the Ministry of the Interior.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Interior Ministry reported that passes, which were introduced as a measure due to the coronavirus epidemic, had been revoked for Sisak-Moslavina County.

The devastating earthquake with the epicentre near Petrinja, which was felt throughout Croatia at 12.19 pm and in neighbouring countries, was 6.2, the Seismological Service reported.

According to media reports, at least 20 injured people were taken to the Sisak hospital.


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The Mayor of the City of Dubrovnik, Mato Franković, officially sent a message of support to the Mayor of Petrinja, Darinko Dumbović, and at the same time offered the City of Dubrovnik's assistance in resources as well as financial assistance in rebuilding the destroyed city.

Here is the letter from the Mayor of Dubrovnik to the Mayor of Petrinja in full –

Dear Mayor,

First of all let me express my sincere regret for this unfortunate event that befell Petrinja. As the leader of the city who has gone through similar sufferings throughout its history, I would like to point out that Dubrovnik is completely at your disposal. Despite the fact that the Covid-19 crisis has hit us significantly financially, we are ready to help you as well. To help you deal with the aftermath of this terrible earthquake, we also make all our resources available to you - from human assistance to equipment assistance. The fire brigade of the City of Dubrovnik, in accordance with the previous agreement with the County Fire Brigade, is today sending its employees to your city, and they will be joined by members of the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service - Dubrovnik Station.

Dubrovnik is with you.

Mayor - Mato Franković


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