March 22, 2021 - A year ago, Zagreb was hit by a series of earthquakes, the strongest in the last 140 years. The first and strongest of 5.5 degrees recorded at 6:24 a.m. Shortly after the earthquake, numerous intervention teams got out to the streets, including specially formed teams of workers from Zagreb Holding. In cooperation with the competent city offices, we engaged all available resources and hired the maximum number of workers who were available to citizens 24 hours a day for as long as necessary.
We have also adopted a number of measures aimed at assisting citizens and businesses in repairing the aftermath of the earthquake.
Below is a summary of all implemented activities and assistance measures for the citizens of Zagreb and for business entities.
Concerning the fact, that earthquake happened on Sunday, when only one third of employees were available, in order for the entire system to function, especially utility services of the City, all capacities were redirected to clean the city. Employees of the Zrinjevac and Zagreb Roads subsidiaries and the affiliated company Water Supply and Drainage, about 500 employees, were redirected to the Čistoća (Waste management subsidiary) in order to help cleaning, in compliance with epidemiological measures.
In the days after the earthquake, the subsidiary Čistoća, with the involvement of mechanization and people in clearing the city and removing construction materials and bulky waste, placed containers in the locations most affected by the disaster, where citizens could dispose construction materials from remediation. Since March 22, the subsidiaries have disposed 4,281 tons of bulky waste, 73 tons of waste wood and 7,144 tons of construction wastes, ie a total of about 2,300 removals with dump trucks / grapple trucks and about 130 containers with bulky waste, construction material wastes and wood waste.
After cleaning, all public traffic areas are regularly washed, for which the Čistoća subsidiary spent a total of more than 8,200 hours (refers to the work of roads, tank trucks, cleaners large and small, and workers cleaning and washing public traffic areas).
The Zrinjevac subsidiary, in coordination with the teams of the Public Fire Brigade of the City of Zagreb, was present on the field with two car platforms and accompanying teams of people from March 22 and for the next 20 days. Subsidiary is also engaged in cleaning the city and removing construction material wastes.
The Zagreb Roads subsidiary is also involved in the remediation of the consequences of the earthquake in the form of cleaning the city from construction material waste, its removal and disposal. From March 22 to December 31, 2020, in the Working Unit for Construction Waste Recycling at Tišinska 26 street, the subsidiary received 59,630 tons of construction waste from the demolition of buildings. For comparison, in 2018, 16,801 tons of construction waste were accepted Working Unit for Construction Waste Recycling, and in 2019, 12,314 tons of construction waste. Activities to clean the city from construction waste that is either a consequence of the earthquake or caused by the rehabilitation of the consequences of the earthquake, are being carried out continuously and continued in 2021.
Additional teams and mechanization were hired by the affiliated companies City Gasworks Zagreb Ltd. and Water Supply and Drainage Ltd. and the City Housing and Municipal Sevices Company Ltd. City Gasworks Zagreb – Supply Ltd. received 14,477 calls from March 22 to June 29, 2020. About 7,000 consumers, who were left without gas after the earthquake, were registered, and all available teams were hired to check the permeability of gas installations in the field on a daily basis. To the citizens who closed the gas preventively due to the earthquake, City Gasworks Zagreb Ltd. does not charge for releasing gas into facilities again.
After the March earthquake, Water Supply and Drainage carried out approximately 50 interventions to rehabilitate water supply pipelines. The condition of the public canal network was also inspected and the water quality was checked, where the results of the control of the health safety of water for human consumption confirmed that the delivered water is healthy according to the prescribed legal conditions. Throughout this period, with all the additional difficulties, the citizens of the city of Zagreb were never left without drinking water, and the drainage system functioned without interruption. Due to the earthquake in December, 3 wells were shut down (one each in Petruševac, Zapruđe and Strmec), which were repaired within 2 hours by the emergency intervention of the team of Water Supply and Drainage, in cooperation with HEP Group (National energy Company). Establishment of special free telephone lines to help citizens
A few hours after the earthquake in March, special telephone lines for citizens were established in the Call Center of Zagreb Holding on 0800 8802 and 0800 8805. The same telephone numbers were available after the earthquake on December 29, 2020. Since March 22, it has been received 63,000 calls on this free line numbers. Of these, 43,000 calls were received in the period up to 28 December 2020.
Measures to assist Individuals (natural) and legal persons
Zagreb Holding and affiliated companies Water Supply and Drainage and City Gasworks Zagreb also introduced measures to help individuals - property owners affected by the earthquake by reducing overhead costs, while Zagreb Holding tenants / companies that have a lease agreement, but could not perform the activity due to the consequences of the earthquake, exempt from paying rent. Until 31.12.2020., a total of 78,256 business and individual users were entitled to some of the benefits on a monthly basis.
The decision on free parking also covers outside parking areas in the city districts of Gornji Grad, Donji Grad, Podsljeme, Gornja Dubrava and Sesvete, ie a total of 2,406 parking spaces. The decision effective from March 28 to May 18, 2020. To users of public parking lots with the address of residence or domicile in the Donji Grad area; Gornji grad-Medvešćak, Sesvete, Gornja Dubrava and Podsljeme, it is possible to temporarily suspend the validity of privileged and commercial parking tickets purchased in the previous period (at the request of the user). Until the expiration of the exercised right, this measure was used by 375 users.
For owners of vehicles damaged in the earthquake who are not in running condition, and at the time of damage were parked in marked public parking lots, it is possible to move vehicles at the request of the owner to one of the locations in the City of Zagreb of their choice or to the eastern parking lot of Zagreb Fair. The transfer is done without charging fee. The measure has been effective since March 26, 2020, and 375 vehicles have been relocated as part of the measure.
Assistance measures through donations
The Zagreb Holding Group also provided assistance to citizens and the local community through donations of construction materials and financial resources for repairing the consequences of the earthquake. A total of HRK 5,839,799 in money and material resources was donated. Of this amount, a total of HRK 4,764,800 was paid in favor of the account of the City of Zagreb for special purposes for repairing the consequences of the earthquake.
Zagreb Holding and affiliated companies joined the action of donating materials for citizens, at the invitation of the City Office for Local Self-Government, within which various construction materials with a total value of HRK 906,004 (including VAT) were procured. The subsidiaries Zagreb roads and Zrinjevac are also involved in the distribution of construction materials to citizens whose real estate was damaged in both earthquakes.
Assistance measures to employees whose homes were damaged in the earthquake
All employees whose homes were damaged in the earthquake were entitled to solidarity support for the elimination of the consequences of a natural disaster in the amount of one average monthly salary paid in the City Office for the Economy of the City of Zagreb in the previous three months. As part of this measure, a total of HRK 1,191,932 in solidarity was paid to eliminate the consequences of the earthquake for 159 workers.
They were also entitled to paid leave of 7 days (paid leave in case of damage to the residential building where the employee lives due to a natural disaster of 7 days). This measure was used by 123 workers who used a total of 781 days of paid leave to eliminate the consequences of the earthquake.
Organization of accommodation in the Hostel Arena
Based on the Mobilization order by the Croatian Ministry of the Interior, the Zagreb Civil Protection is engaged in organizing accommodation (accommodation and meals) for the citizens of Zagreb, whose facilities were damaged in the earthquake on March 22, 2020. Accommodation is provided in a Hostel Arena, managed by the Vladimir Nazor subsidiary, from September 11, 2020. Previously, the citizens were accommodated in the Student Home Cvjetno naselje. On December 28, 2020, pursuant to the mentioned Order, 183 persons - citizens of Zagreb - were accommodated in the Hostel Arena. After the earthquake, which hit Sisak, Petrinja, Glina and Zagreb on December 29, four more families from Zagreb were admitted to the Hostel Arena and at the end of the year a total of 199 people were accommodated in the hostel.
In order to ensure a better stay for the citizens accommodated in the hostel, the Zagreb Holding additionally arranged the common areas, additional furniture and more than 110 refrigerators were purchased. Internet is also provided throughout the hostel.
Assistance to building co-owners
The affiliated City Housing and Municipal Sevices Company provided assistance to building co-owners. More than 2,500 reports from co-owners and their representatives were received through technical regional services, where the largest number of damaged buildings (Centar, Črnomerec, Maksimir, Medvešćak, Trešnjevka and Trnje) were received, primarily related to the urgent elimination of direct danger and taking further necessary actions to performing more detailed rehabilitation (obtaining the necessary consent of the co-owners, preparation of project documentation, providing the necessary funds, etc.). Immediately after the earthquake, about 50 teams with their available (heavy) mechanization were organized on the field, and due to the large number of daily interventions, the teams were deployed according to needs. Based on the report of City Gasworks Zagreb, the City Housing and Municipal Service also repaired faulty gas installations after the earthquake in 160 buildings. In addition, 30 damaged elevators were repaired.
In addition, also free of charge, the City Housing and Municipal Service, provided the service for preparation of applications and obtaining the documentation required to apply to the Public Call of Ministry of Physical Planning, construction and State Assets for the subvention of temporary remediation measures on buildings damaged in the earthquake. 1,434 buildings were reported in the total amount of HRK 99,252,274. By the end of 2020, 735 decisions of the Ministry were received, which approved a total of HRK 25,219,462 for the buildings. In order to provide the necessary funds, requests from representatives and co-owners of buildings for loan approval are received on a daily basis. By February 2021, loan applications for about 900 buildings had been processed, which decided to finance the renovation independently from the reserve.
Restoration of protected zero category monuments
At the Mirogoj city cemetery, the administrative building, the morgue, the arcades and the church were damaged. Following the preliminary findings of the statics, emergency remediation measures were taken to protect human lives and prevent greater damage. The measures are still in force. The most damaged were the arcades and the church of Christ the King, which are protected monuments of the zero category. A virtual walk through the Mirogoj arcades has been set up on the website of the City Cemeteries subsidiary to enable users to view damaged grave sites. A digital register of damages to graves was also made with the exact location and a photo available to citizens on the website of the City Cemeteries subsidiary through the search engine of the deceased, ie all damaged graves are photo-recorded with a description of the damage. For all necessary actions in repairing the consequences of earthquakes within the subsidiary, 42 employees or 14.3% of the total number of employees were engaged, who, in addition to regular tasks, also performed earthquake rehabilitation tasks.