Warning to Zagreb Citizens After Sunday Earthquakes: Do Not Enter Damaged Buildings

Daniela Rogulj

March 22, 2020 – The Zagreb Office for Emergency Situations has urged citizens not to enter damaged buildings following three earthquakes in the capital on Sunday morning. 

We transmit their statement in full from Index.hr:

“After the earthquakes in Zagreb this morning, we are informing citizens not to enter the damaged buildings. Teams of construction experts are coming to the scene, who will prioritize damage assessment of buildings and mark buildings according to the assessment. The priority is hospitals and later all other buildings. 

In addition, teams of construction workers have been hired to clean roads and corridors,” they reported.

“There is also a Special Search and Rescue Civil Protection Unit on the ground, and it is starting to work. All general-purpose Civil Protection units are invited to report to their assembly sites and take on tasks.

NO Krško is not damaged and the electricity supply is normalized and the failures are not large. Unfortunately, we cannot know when and what the subsequent earthquakes will be, but according to seismologists, they should not be stronger than the first earthquake.

We ask all citizens to remain calm and follow the notices of official sources. We ask all citizens to respect the coronavirus-related social distance recommendations in this situation as well,” they said.

An extraordinary Government session was held, attended by the President, reports Dalmatinski Portal.

“The message to citizens is to listen to news and information only from those in charge, which is the Civil Protection Headquarters at the moment. You can ignore anything you hear from the public,” said President Zoran Milanovic.

“According to the Seismological Service, the earthquake was 5.5. It is the strongest earthquake in Zagreb in the last 140 years. In 1880 it was stronger.

It is evident that there is plenty of damage to buildings, exterior and interior. We urge all citizens to exercise caution. At this point, we will recommend that most fellow citizens be outside their buildings even though it is cold. There is no need to panic and go to gas stations. Keep distance as recommended by the Civil Protection Headquarters. We have two contradictory crises.

We will centralize all activities of the Civil Protection Headquarters and the Government will manage this crisis as well. I ask the citizens to listen to the instructions of the Headquarters, which will be available for both crises twice a day.

The Croatian Army and all Zagreb city services have been engaged in repairing the damage. We will endeavor to repair the roads as soon as possible.”

“We will have a particular focus on healthcare facilities because we want patients to have all the proper care they need. We have information about one child who was seriously injured who is at the Klaiceva hospital,” said Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.

“When and if a major earthquake will occur cannot be predicted. And if it does, the gaps cannot be predicted. A stronger one can happen quickly or in 20 days. The experts cannot predict and give a solution. The fact is that after such a large earthquake, subsequent earthquakes happen,” said Ines Ivancic, head of the Seismological Service.

It is a priority now to consider the structural safety of the buildings. It was agreed that patients should be returned to stable buildings to provide them with adequate health care. We have information about one patient who is severely injured in her spine, with neurosurgery expected. We cannot predict the final outcome,” said Health Minister Vili Beros.

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