ZAGREB, July 25, 2020 – Zagreb mayor Milan Bandic has pledged aid to residents in repairing the property damage caused by a severe storm that hit the capital on Friday evening, when nearly 100 litres of rain per square metre fell in 10 hours, leaving many properties flooded.
“The damage will be compensated for, but what cannot be compensated for is a human life. I regret to say that one young life was lost,” Bandic told a press conference on Saturday. He announced that he would visit the family of a 53-year-old voluntary firefighter who died in the line of duty, on Sunday.
The mayor thanked the emergency services for a prompt response. He reassured the residents by saying that the damage would be assessed and that they would be assisted in repairing the damage.
Asked to comment on the fact that he has been the mayor for 20 years and that every time a heavy rain occurs residents see scenes like these, Bandic said that he and his team have done more about the municipal water supply and drainage infrastructure than all the mayors of Zagreb in the last 100 years combined.
Reporters also asked the head of the Department for Emergency Management, Pavle Kalinic, whether the water drainage system could have been damaged by the March 22 earthquake, to which he said that this was yet to be looked into and assessed.
Chief fire officer Javor Lozar said that the city’s public fire brigade and about 50 voluntary firefighter associations had carried out over 250 response operations between 9.30 pm on Friday and 11 am on Saturday, involving 180 firefighters. They were engaged in pumping out the water from residential buildings and underground car parks and rescuing people from vehicles and basement flats. Lozar said that there had also been a fire in two flats that were promptly brought under control and no major damage was done.