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Croatia thanks diaspora, international community for swift quake relief

earthquake rocks croatia

Petrinja (Screenshot/Croatian Red Cross)

ZAGREB, 2 January (Hina) – Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic Radman on Saturday thanked the international community and Croatian emigrants for swiftly sending relief to those affected by a 6.2 earthquake in Sisak-Moslavina County, saying the government would not forget anyone affected.

Visiting the area struck on Tuesday, he told press in Lekenik the government was “pleasantly surprised” by the swift response of the international community and Croatian emigrants.

The government immediately requested the activation of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, and more than half the member states responded in 24 hours, ready to help, said Grlic Radman.

Austria sent containers, Greece was the first to send a plane with 19 tonnes of relief, and Bulgaria and Poland have sent relief too, he said, adding that yesterday he spoke with colleagues from Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America.

“They wanted to know what the situation was, if more assistance was necessary. They have shown great solidarity and empathy for our tragedy.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen immediately called the prime minister and all Croatian ministers were in contact with their EU colleagues, Grlic Radman said.

He especially thanked Croatian emigrants from Australia, America and Germany for responding swiftly and starting to collect aid, saying that reminded him of how it was in the 1990s Homeland War.

Greece aid croatia

Plane arrives in Zagreb from Greece (Photo: HV/MUP)

Commenting on Petrinja Mayor Darinko Dumbovic’s dissatisfaction with the allocation of state funds after the tremor, Grlic Radman said “one should not politicise with millions.”

Dumbovic said he would return the government’s HRK 30 million in aid because political affiliation was being considered, rather than people and the damage.

“The government set aside that money to show at the beginning the desire, the will for the first rehabilitation to be carried out,” he said, adding that “naturally” the government would see “what else is necessary.” 

Grlic Radman said the Interior Ministry had a well-established civil protection mechanism that was activated immediately. He pledged that all the relief necessary, from camp beds and lamps to containers and caravans, would continue to reach those affected by the tremor.

He underlined that the government would not leave anyone on their own, saying that all Croatian citizens must have a roof over their heads and heating.

“We are all here to help these people, to ease their pain. We can’t bring back lives but we can help to reduce the pain, that people feel they are supported, that they are not alone, that they have not been abandoned, that they get a roof over their heads. In any case, we are there for them.”

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