After exactly 140 years Zagreb experienced tremendous earthquake damaging buildings, people’s homes and one life of a 15 year old girl. Together with meteor falling next to Zagreb few weeks ago, corona virus, polluted air from desert Karakum from Asia that affected Zagreb, snow in midle of March, loosing jobs due to corona all we needed is an earthquake??? So begining of year of 2020 it’s rather shity (pardon my French) and as a result I was not really motivated to do much, not depressed just not motivated and that’s why I am writing this post 3 weeks later.
Earthquakes in this area are very often as Zagreb is located in a zone of seismic activity but we rarely feel them. Last one I felt few years ago and when I was a kid, but they were not even close to this one which I will remember forever that’s for sure!
Anyway let me tell you my experience. As you may know Zagreb is Croatian capital, place that I call home. On Sunday morning on 22.03.2020. at 06:24. during our sleep Zagreb was rocked by a huge earthquake. The epicentre was 7 km north of Zagreb above the centre – magnitude of 5.5.
I am single mum and I live with my daughter and our little dog. It’s amassing that few seconds changes your lives anyway, first dog jumped from my bed so scared not knowing what is happening. Immediately both my doughier and me jumped and hugged each other in the middle of the hall, bending our heads, as if that would help? Coins and all silly things from our shoe cupboards went all over the place and one picture that was not hanged fell down and thank God it didn’t break as we both would be in trouble. In those few seconds things went across mind what they thought us in school in case of emergency and going underneath the table, I thought what the hell? Who does that? So we chose to stand next to the entrance door as the walls are strong there, hoping door knocker will not break. By that time Nala was standing in the living room and I went to grab her. She peed twice bless her heart.
When it all calmed down my daughter said people have left the building, so we put first things that we could find, I grabbed my bag, keys, coat for Nala as it was freezing and we run outside. Short cut to get to the open area is through the tunnel connecting the building but what if the building collapse? All sorts of things went through my mind, so we took longer way, still not as safe in case of collapsing. My mother also lives in the same building just different entrance and we found each other in the open area. She had no socks on just trainers. Many neighbours went out as well and nobody really cared about corona anymore. Some people took their cars out from the garage, mine was still in. My mother just bought me a new car last November so I wasn’t keen of leaving it in the garage either. We called my aunt and uncle, my mother sister, she is an invalid paralysed on one side and can only walk with the stick and only using one arm. They live on the 4th floor and I cannot even image how she walked down the stairs. I called my cousin and he said his flat is rather damaged and his wife is very scared, they live in old building in downtown very close to us. I told them to come to us. I called my best friend she leaves in Samobor outside of Zagreb and she said they are all ok in the house not scared at all.
Soon after another earthquake rocked Zagreb with 5 magnitudes, than 3,7. In between the two I run to the flat through the tunnel as I wanted to be faster. Off course the night before I didn’t charged my phone and I was on 25% battery so I was desperate to get the charger. We live on 2nd floor. I ran upstairs, took hats, scarf’s, socks for my mum, charger, some money, few other things and ran to get my car on -2. I hate jogging but did I ran this time. I put some blackets in the car that I had in my garage, milk as I though milk would be good for drinking in case of need and I flew out of garage qualifying myself for F1. I drove outside the building like Schumacher. I felt so sad that I could not invite one more person in my car while waiting because of corona virus, I felt so not human as it was so old. And last but not least it started to snow.….what else???
We staid couple of hours in the car but in the end we decided to go home. I mean where else would we go? What else would we do? The worse for me was watching footage showing mothers dressed in nightgowns and bear feet hugging their newborn babies as one of the maternity hospital was severely damaged. Women and children were moved along with incubators to a new location with the help of the army, Blue Bad Boys (fans of Dinamo football club from Zagreb. I wrote about them in previous post) and Hajduk football fans from Split. It was emotional seeing two enemies joined together and helping those women. I can only say #respect. News showed that majority of people were also out in the car park or tram treks, parks in freezing cold, not paying much attention of corona either.
As for buildings majority of them downtown and upper town are completely damaged. The top of one of the two spires of Zagreb’s cathedral collapsed, Parliament has severe damages, Faculty of Law actually moved 10 cm from it’s previous location, concrete slabs fell on cars and chimneys landed in front of building entrances. We only have few long crakes on the walls, entrance door and all windows, but we have an apartment in the most beautiful area in Zagreb next to Stone gate city top attraction in Zagreb but I will write about that in my next post as the bulling has a story worth telling.
My friends abroad, my cliends, my coworkes, partners all send mesages asking are we ok? Some even send photos of our city tours in Zagreb that they took. It was nice to hear that people from all over the world thought about me and my family.
In those 3,5 weeks after the big earthquake there were more that 140 smaller ones. My daughter is totally cool about is but Nala and me are not so much. One more problem is our neighbour above us who walks so loud that I don’t know whether is a new one or just him walking, all I know Nala is like radar and my stomach shrunks twice the size. I am rather cool person travelling with my daughter since she was 1 year old, adventures. Only last year we have been twice in Asia; Thailand, Cambodia, Bali, Amsterdam, Germany, Lapland on Arctic circle, Prague, but now must admit I am going to bed with the sound of earthquake and thought what if… what if…