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Croatia earthquake: PM urges people to be careful with donations due to fake accounts

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PM Andrej Plenkovic (screenshot)

ZAGREB, Dec 30 (Hina) – The government on Wednesday declared January 2 a national day of mourning and opened a state treasury account for helping those affected by yesterday’s earthquake, with Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic appealing to citizens to be careful due to the appearance of fake donation accounts.

He and the ministers observed a minute’s silence for those killed in the magnitude 6.2 quake in Sisak-Moslavina County.

“We sympathise with the families of those killed and those wounded,” Plenkovic said.

One girl was killed in Petrinja, five people in Majske Poljane near Glina, and one person in Lekenik.

Twenty-six people have been injured and the police, Civil Protection, firefighters and people who came to help are searching the rubble, Plenkovic said, thanking them.

The government has opened a state treasury account “to help those affected, an expression of solidarity,” he said, adding that Croats in Croatia and expats were interested in helping. He said great support was extended yesterday by friends and partners across Europe and the world who wanted to help, thanking them.

“This is an opportunity for Croatia to once again show its big heart, care for others and empathy,” Plenkovic said, especially appreciating the people in many cities and counties who want to help Petrinja, Sisak and Glina.

He recommended that this aid be organised and structured via the Civil Protection. “All together, we will organise via the Red Cross that the aid be distributed evenly and that it reach even the tiniest hamlet… where fellow citizens have been affected by the earthquake.”

Appeal for complying with COVID measures

Given that COVID passes for intra-county travel were put out of force due to the quake, the prime minister called for caution and compliance with COVID measures. “We are still fighting against coronavirus and it wouldn’t be good if our focus wavered.”

He went on to say that many meetings had been held on the post-quake reconstruction of Zagreb and that reconstruction applications were expected in January for €683 million from the European Solidarity Fund.

Plenkovic said it was clear from his talks with the president of the European Commission that they wanted to help to deal with the aftermath of yesterday’s tremor as well. He added that the Regional Development and EU Funds Ministry would coordinate the listing of the damage and apply for money from the Solidarity Fund.

Plenkovic said he would receive today European Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarcic, who will then visit Sisak-Moslavina County together with Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic, Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Natasa Tramisak, and Commission Vice President Dubravka Suica.

He said several other ministers would also visit the county today. “We will be operationally engaged every minute to help both the prefect and the mayors.”

Plenkovic said he saw for himself yesterday the extent of the damage and voiced hope that after today’s tremors, the seismological situation would calm down.

He said that this afternoon the government would adopt a decision on the reallocation of funds for the health sector, adding that almost HRK 600 million was available.

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