Earthquake in Zagreb: a double emergency

The region around Croatia's capital was hit by two heavy earthquakes measuring 5.3 and 5.0 on the Richter scale on Sunday morning. Seventeen people were injured and many buildings were badly damaged, including Zagreb Cathedral. Around 1,000 people are not able to return to their homes for the time being, and this is affecting the country's anti-coronavirus efforts. The press has words of encouragement for those affected by the double emergency.

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Jutarnji list (HR) /

Stop whining and roll up your sleeves

Croatia has been through worse times, Jutarnji list points out:

“Take a deep breath and stop your snivelling. Unless a wall has fallen on your head, you have no reason to despair. Things have been worse here, a lot worse, and not so long ago either. Our prosperity, our calm and well-fed world which has now been briefly rocked isn't as old as it may seem. You might think there's always been warm heating systems, WiFi, a leased Peugeot and colourful chocolate chips on your blueberry ice cream, but that's not the case. ... If you could go down your street as it used to be in 1920, the time machine would get caught up in the undergrowth. Our grandparents had the courage to build a city on muddy wasteland, and so will we. We can overcome hardship just as they did.”

Večernji list (HR) /

Coping with double trouble

Despite the difficult situation the people have reacted in an exemplary manner, Večernji list writes in praise:

“In the midst of the most difficult battle, a statistical anomaly occurs: now of all times we're hit by a devastating earthquake. It has driven hundreds of thousands of people in Zagreb and the surrounding area onto the streets, inviting the coronavirus to come and feast, so to speak. But even in the rush of things, a large number of people remembered to wear masks and keep their distance. We'll soon see if the coronavirus took advantage of this unexpected opportunity, or whether we were blessed with luck in the midst of misfortune. ... We should be optimists, even though we're 'waging war' on two fronts. ... We can cope when we have to. That's the real truth about us: quite different from the usual defeatism according to which nothing works and 'these things' only happen to us.”