Zadar, Croatia-After working all night to sort through the survivors of the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that shook central Croatia in the ruins of collapsed buildings, the search and rescue operation shifted gears on Wednesday, focusing on helping thousands of homeless Returnable person.
The earthquake hit the region for the second time in two days and was the strongest earthquake in the country’s history in 140 years. The earthquake caused at least 7 deaths, dozens of injuries, fractures, concussions and other injuries.
Even when rescuers arrived in the area, the strong aftershocks shook the worst-hit Petrinia and Sisak and Glina, which are about 30 miles away from the neighboring capital Zagreb.
After the early morning fog burned, this day revealed the scale of the destruction.
The roof slipped from the house, leaving a mountain of rubble on the street. Other houses collapsed. A video shot by local media shows how one of the outer walls collapsed, while the dining table inside was almost undisturbed, and was arranged to eat a shortened lunch.
The chaotic villages outside Petrinja seem to have been razed to the ground, with almost no houses.
In an early morning interview, Darinko Dumbovic, the mayor of Petrínia, told Croatian National Television: “This is not a good morning.” After two aftershocks (one magnitude of 4.8) Magnitude, another magnitude of 4.7), he gave a speech.
He said: “Things that have never fallen off before are now falling from the rubble.”
Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said that it is clear that the town is no longer suitable for human habitation.
When the earthquake occurred, the rapid response of many residents seemed to help prevent the number of casualties from worsening.
Since the small earthquake that occurred on Monday is very close, many people have the opportunity to think about the reaction to the big earthquake.
When the earth began to shake on Tuesday, Tomislav Suknajic and his son Zeljko went to the nearest door. The house began to crumble around them. After the shaking stopped, their town Majske Poljane was reduced to a pile of rubble. Five of the seven people who died in the earthquake lived in the area.
Sukhnajic told national television: “We are waiting to die together under that door.” “We are squatting on an intact wall and staying as long as possible.”
The two appeared almost unscathed and grabbed the chain saw to free a horse trapped under the collapsed barn. The horse lives.
Mr. Suknajic and his son slept in the car all night. They refused to put another roof over their heads because they were worried that the roof would collapse again.
Residents of Petrinja and surrounding areas passed through turbulent times, even before the disaster this week.
The city was the first city destroyed by military conflict during the Balkan War and was replaced by the Yugoslav Armed Forces in 1991. The siege of the city eventually broke out into a full-scale fire, leading to the disintegration of Yugoslavia.
Since then, Petrini has been shrinking.
It used to be one of the largest cities in Croatia. In recent years, it has caused a lot of bloodshed to its citizens. Less than 25,000 people called it home before the earthquake.
This is part of a larger demographic crisis that reduced the total population of Croatia by 4.2 million, as many young people travel to wealthier countries and have more job opportunities. The World Bank predicts that by 2050, the population will be reduced to 3.46 million. The European Union estimates that 15% of working-age Croats live in other member states.
Mayor Dumbovic said that recovering from the earthquake is also a struggle for survival in the town.
So far, the Croatian government has allocated 120 million kuna, or approximately $19.5 million in aid, and promised to provide more. The head of EU crisis management, Janetz Lenarcic, said that the EU is also preparing to help.
Lenarsic wrote on Twitter: “At present, winter tents, electric heaters, beds and sleeping bags and containers are mainly needed.”
However, the ongoing battle to slow the spread of the coronavirus complicates recovery.
Although the government moved quickly to lift the travel ban between regions to allow aid workers and volunteers to travel to the region, it still has to fight the spread of the virus in Europe.
Forty Covid-19 patients hospitalized in the area were transferred to Zagreb. However, social isolation will be the main challenge for thousands of people forced to live in hurriedly arranged housing.
Residents of the nursing home were evacuated to Zagreb and other nearby facilities. However, some people are still trapped in their abused houses. Alert locals, most of them older people, surrounded the bonfire and roared near the ruins of the house to watch out for the robbers.
Support has flooded across the country, and humanitarian aid programs have flooded into the area so quickly that the Red Cross demanded that the Croats stop providing supplies.
The organization said they had too many eggs, insufficient propane tanks, tents and generators. The surrounding towns that rely on agriculture also need mobile houses or trailers so that locals can carry their livestock with them.
Ivana Malovic of the local Red Cross said in an interview: “At the moment, we have to ask all these good people, donors, and we have to stop.” “This will take a long time. You will see how the city was destroyed. People will be hungry, and they will be in need within five days, fifteen days.” She added, but thanked the donors for all they have provided so far.
Thousands of people were placed in temporary shelters at nearby sports fields and military facilities, but some residents refused to leave.
The chairman of the city’s Red Cross, Dr. Marina Lokner, said that mainly elderly people are staying.
She said: “They came to us to warm up in the tent at night.”
Although the area has experienced strong earthquakes in history, the earthquake on Tuesday was the strongest earthquake recorded in Croatia using modern measurement methods.
Tomislav Fiket, a Croatian seismologist, told National Television that more aftershocks are expected and caution is needed in the recovery work.
He said: “All these earthquakes hit the damaged buildings and may cause more damage or collapse them.”
Zadar reported on Joe Orovic, and London reported on Marc Santora.