Croatia Earthquake Situation Report #2, January 8, 2021

Situation Report
Originally published



Our Footprint

  • International Medical Corps has a global support office and logistics hub in Split, Croatia. Our team includes more than 100 staff members.

Our Response

  • In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, International Medical Corps deployed personal protective equipment (PPE) and an Emergency Response Team to assess the damage in Petrinja, Sisak, Glina and the surrounding villages.

  • Healthcare facilities in Petrinja and Glina are unsalvageable. To meet the urgent need to restore primary care access,
    International Medical Corps mobilized two temporary structures to support services in central Croatia.

  • Critical needs in the health sector include PPE, medical equipment and supplies, and two additional temporary structures to facilitate continued delivery of healthcare services.

At least seven people were killed and scores injured after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck central Croatia on December 29. The quake—the strongest recorded in 140 years—struck just after noon local time about 30 miles southeast of the capital Zagreb, and could be felt across the Balkans. The earthquake led to widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure, including the region’s largest hospital and a variety of other healthcare-related facilities. Hundreds of thousands of people were left without power, and travel has been widely disrupted as officials continue to assess damage to roads, bridges and local airports.

In recent days, the area has suffered from strong aftershocks. On January 6, a 4.9 magnitude earthquake occurred in the same area, with the epicenter near Petrinja, just 4 miles (7 kilometers) west-northwest of the December 29 quake.

International Medical Corps Response

Within hours of the earthquake, International Medical Corps deployed more than $50,000 worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) to support Croatian health authorities involved in relief efforts. We also deployed an Emergency Response Team from our Croatia office to conduct an assessment of the damage and critical needs in Petrinja, Sisak, Glina and the surrounding villages.

Our team is working closely with the Croatian Ministry of Health’s Crisis Management Center to evaluate needs and coordinate opportunities to connect resources with those affected by the earthquake. Based on discussions with the Ministry of Health (MoH), a clear priority is to restore primary healthcare services in the affected region. To meet these immediate needs, the MoH has requested:

  1. four temporary structures to serve as primary healthcare centers while rehabilitation efforts are underway;

  2. support for the replacement of a damaged ambulance unit; and

  3. co-financing to support the rehabilitation of the major health centers in Petrinja and Glina.

Both health centers in Petrinja and Glina have been deemed unsalvageable, and will need to be demolished and completely rebuilt. In the meantime, the MoH intends to open temporary facilities to support the healthcare needs of the local population. To support these efforts, International Medical Corps is concluding procurement, and arranging deployment of two temporary health structures that will be used in Glina to restore primary healthcare delivery service, based on the MoH’s request.

Additionally, International Medical Corps’ initial assessment confirmed that there are at least 1,500 families near Sisak,
Petrinja and Glina who have lost their homes as a result of the earthquake. This number is likely to increase as engineers continue their assessments.

International Medical Corps also completed the delivery of food, hygiene items and personal protective equipment (masks) worth $50,000, in collaboration with the Wings of Help Germany and Croatian Red Cross (CRC), to meet the immediate needs of displaced families. Our Emergency Response Team is temporarily based in Zagreb, to coordinate with authorities the dispatch of the temporary health structures and to oversee the distribution of supplies to the affected population, primarily in rural areas that received less assistance than larger population centers.

In the coming weeks, International Medical Corps will continue to collaborate with the MoH to identify additional opportunities for support. Critical needs currently include two additional temporary health structures to ensure primary care access in the affected regions, and medical equipment to replace critical-care equipment that was damaged during the earthquake. There also is a concern that the current turmoil may lead to a surge of COVID-19 cases, with hundreds displaced and sheltered in government-organized accommodation or with families in crowded conditions. International Medical Corps’ team will continue to work with local partners to address these critical needs and help the MoH secure access to healthcare for affected populations.