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.
A magnitude 6.3 earthquake with an epicentre 3 kilometres from Petrinja was felt throughout the whole of Croatia, and indeed throughout the whole region.
The shocking earthquake was followed by three new tremors, all stronger than 3 on the Richter Scale.
The material damage in the area is enormous, the scenes from the city scenes are truly dramatic, and there appears to be a large number of injured. Sirens of fire trucks and ambulances echo through the city, and a rescue operation is underway at several locations. In the very centre of the city, almost all the houses have collapsed.
Unfortunately, a 12-year-old was killed in the earthquake in Petrinja.
Most of Zagreb was left without electricity, cars are in traffic jams and many ciitzens left their homes and offices and collected in public parks away from buildings.
Al least 300 Croatian army soldiers have arrived in Petrinja to help with the operation.
Petrinja Mayor, Darinko Dumbović, said in his first statement for N1 that half of the city had been demolished and asked for help to be sent to Petrinja immediately.
"The kindergarten collapsed, but fortunately there were no children in the kindergarten," Dumbovic said.
Seismologist Krešimir Kuk said the quake was of magnitude 6.2. He says that the epicentre was between Sisak and Petrinja.
A magnitude 6.2 earthquake hit the Petrinja area. It was felt throughout Croatia and caused numerous material damages. And unfortunately, a 12-year-old girl died in Petrinja.
The President of the European Commission spoke about the whole situation on Twitter.
"Another strong earthquake hit Croatia, another in two days. I spoke with Prime Minister Plenković. We are ready to help. I asked the European Commissioner for Crisis Situations, Janez Lenarčić, to travel to Croatia as soon as possible," she wrote on Twitter.
After another powerful earthquake in Croatia, the 2nd in the past 2 days, I spoke with Prime Minister @AndrejPlenkovic again.— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) December 29, 2020
We are ready to support. I have asked @JanezLenarcic to stand ready to travel to Croatia as soon as the situation allows.
We stand with Croatia.
Croatian President, Zoran Milanovic, and Prime Minister, Andrej Plenković, went immediately to Petrinja after the Sisak-Moslavina County was hit by a devastating 6.2 magnitude earthquake earlier today.
"Terrible! What a horror!" were President Milanovic's first impressions.
"The army is here. The barracks can accommodate several hundred people, families. But ... it's a horror," Milanovic said.
"It was a difficult year, awful. It's like adding insult to injury in the end, injury to insult. This will be built, but one human, one child's life was lost. Last year the strongest earthquake was in Durres, Albania, 6, 4. This is practically of the same strength", he stated and added.
The European Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) estimated on Tuesday that a magnitude 6.2 earthquake in Petrinja was felt by around six million people.
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.
A powerful earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter Scale struck Croatia at 12.17. The epicentre of the earthquake was 3 kilometres from the city of Petrinja and the earthquake was felt all over Croatia. The earthquake lasted for around 20 seconds. Petrinja is a town in central Croatia near Sisak in the historic region of Banovina. Reports from Petrinja suggest that there have been fatalities in the city.
The city of Petrina has seen damage to buildings and injuries are also reported. The earthquake also caused damage to buildings in Croatia. The quake was so strong that it was even felt in Dubrovnik.
“Felt HARD in central Zagreb. I lived in California for a dozen years and still hid under a chair to avoid flying pictures from the walls,” read a comment on Twitter. And another comment on Twitter read “Oh goodness 2 earthquakes, 5.3 and 6.3 in 2 days. People are outside, hard to social distance, need hugs at this moment. Shaken.”
The earthquake was felt in - Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Montenegro, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia and Austria. The Croatian capital has also seen material damage and a thousands of citizens left their homes and offices and collected in public parks away from buildings. The majority of telephone lines and mobile phone connections are down in Zagreb and there are reports that traffic lights are also out of order. There are also parts of Zagreb that are without electricty.
15 min ago an earthquake M6.3 struck #Croatia. It is the largest earthquake so far to hit the country this year. It is several tens of km South of #Zagreb.— EMSC (@LastQuake) December 29, 2020
Such an earthquake can generate significant damage at close epicentral distances. More info soon. Stay safe
Petrinja nakon potresa. Užas. pic.twitter.com/VwwUNSGHUf— Boban Karović (@BobanKarovic) December 29, 2020
Situacija u Petrinji. pic.twitter.com/apjDD2sJNE— Hrvatski Crveni križ (@crvenikriz_hr) December 29, 2020
Dubrovnik has for decades been without a high standard indoor sports centre, with the current centre in Gospino polje has been in need of repair for years. However, today a new project to build a new sports centre in Dubrovnik was announced. The exisiting sports centre in Gospino polje will be replaced with a 4,200-seat capacity multi-purpose hall.
The Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic, presented the project today and stated that “The facility will be used for exhibitions, fairs, congresses, and not only for sports.”
“In January 2019, we adopted the Sports Strategy, then together with the Croatian Handball Federation we submitted a candidacy for the World Handball Championship, and in February this year we found out that we will be a host city, this obliged us to start actions to meet all conditions,” said the Mayor.
He concluded that “The goal is to finish the hall at the end of 2024, that is, a few months before the start of the World Handball Championship.” And indeed hosting a major world sporting event will give the whole project not only a fixed deadline but also the motivation to hit that deadline.
Under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, a meeting of the Interdepartmental Working Group for Monitoring the Implementation of the Financial Contribution from the European Union Solidarity Fund intended for financing the reconstruction of the City of Zagreb, Krapina-Zagorje County and Zagreb County was held.
After the meeting, the Prime Minister addressed the public.
"In agreement with the Ministry of Finance, 20 million Kuna has been agreed for earthquake damage in the Sisak and Petrinja areas," Plenković said.
"We will find funds from the reserve so that those funds would be available tomorrow. This is an intervention measure, to help immediately," Plenković said.
A similar solution will be found for Sisak and Petrinja, following the example of Zagreb, the Prime Minister explained. “Unfortunately, we already have a lot of experience,” he said.
Croatian citizens spend 34 percent of their income on housing and food, and in the European Union only Romanians spend more on food, Vecernji list writes on Tuesday.
EU household consumption of food and beverages last year was around 7 percent of annual GDP and reached a value of 956 billion Kuna.
The fact that Croatians spend a large amount of their income of food is largely due to the fact that the prices of basic foodstuffs are almost equal to the average levels in the EU, while the amount of earnings are around one third lower than the average national income in the EU.
The poorer the country, the more income its citizens spend on basic necessities, so, according to Eurostat, the value of food expenditure for the poorest Romania is 16 percent of GDP, but immediately after them is Croatia with a share of 13.3 percent.
Croatia is followed by Lithuania with 12 percent, Greece with 11 percent, while at the top of the column are Ireland and Luxembourg with the share of food expenditures only 3 percent.
According to a Eurostat analysis, Croats spent 7.2 billion euros on food and non-alcoholic beverages last year, and the incomparably richer Irish, a country with just under five million inhabitants, spent 8.2 billion euros.
In Croatia, food is the most expensive item and accounts for 18 percent of household expenditures, followed by housing costs with about 16 percent and transportation with about 10 percent, reports Večernji list.
In the last 24 hours, 1,350 new cases of Covid-19 virus infection were recorded, and the number of active cases in Croatia today is a total of 7,673.
There are currently 2,654 people in hospital across the country and 254 people on ventilators.
Unfortunately, over the past 24 hours a further 56 people passed away due to the virus.
Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 206,596 people have been infected with the new coronavirus, of which 3,795 have passed away, a total of 195,128 people have recovered, of which 1,657 recovered in the last 24 hours.
There are currently 26,918 people in self-isolation.
To date, a total of 1,004,346 people have been tested, of which 7,411 in the last 24 hours.