PHOTOS/VIDEOS: Tear-jerking solidarity shown with earthquake-hit areas in Croatia

Written by
Lara Rasin

This topic is difficult to write about, not only because of the gravity of the situation - but because the outpouring of support is so extensive and far-flung, it's hard to determine where to begin. 

Croatians have a famously uncanny ability of rallying together during hard times. When their fellow citizens are in need, lines that usually divide societies are, in large part, erased. Walks of life, political differences, past grievances... All differences are set aside to make room for support, assistance, empathy, and care.

The response following the 6.2-magnitude earthquake of December 29 is one of Croatia's mightiest examples of community spirit yet.

One of Time Out Croatia's readers recently summed it up in a comment: 

"I visit Croatia regularly and the patriotism, community spirit and love of country is something that has to be seen to be believed."

Here are just a few of the many reasons why.

Civilians and experts alike rush to the scene from all corners of Croatia

From football fans and professional chefs to alpine climbers and construction workers, civilians from across Croatia travel (some of them all night) to earthquake-destructed Sisak-Moslavina County.

They join streams of experts which include the Croatian Army and the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service.

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Professional chefs cook for earthquake victims

Professional chefs who are members of various organisations set up kitchens and food stands in hard-hit Petrinja.

Members of Croatia's sports scene give assistance

Retired Croatian professional mixed martial artist Mirko Filipović, known by the nickname Cro Cop, lends a hand in the village of Glina.

Dinamo Zagreb and Hajduk Split fans assist at the most-affected areas.
Professional footballer Dejan Lovren opens his hotel to families from Sisak-Moslavina County.

Climbers, speleologists, and alpinists help where they can

Croatia's least fearful of heights arrive in the shaken county. Many of the climbers, speleologists and alpinists already have experience in this situation, having recently volunteered in Zagreb after the earthquake of March 22, 2020.

Help, money, and material donations flood in from Croats at home and abroad

Across Croatia, dozens, if not hundreds, of charity funds and help centres were organised and running within 24 hours of the natural disaster.

Diaspora communities, from the Association of Croatian American Professionals Foundation and the Croatian Fraternal Union of America to individual-initiated funds from Canada to Australia, were quick to set up donations. They've already raised hundreds of thousands of euros.

Shelter aplenty, from luxury hotels such as Valamar; across houses; to guest apartments and mobile homes, is being offered to those without a home

Mobile homes from Istria arrive in the cities and villages surrounding Petrinja.

A family from Petrinja arrives in Petrčane, a village near Zadar, after a local man offered up his guest apartment.

Citizens wait hours upon end in lines to donate blood to the injured

Citizens waited up to seven hours in Zagreb to donate blood at the Croatian Institute of Transfusion Medicine.

Donated materials and equipment are being collected all over the country

Zagreb residents load cars and trucks with clothes, non-perishable food, hygienic products, and more for the affected areas.

Split, along with many other areas, follows suit.

Warehouses in the affected area fill up at express speeds

A warehouse volunteer says, "At the sight [of the overwhelming amount of items], you almost burst into tears. From happiness and sorrow at the same time."

Cities across Croatia opt out of New Year celebrations and send money to those in need instead

Croatia is forgoing New Year programs and sending funds to Sisak-Moslavina County instead.

Counties, cities, towns, and villages, big and small, more or less wealthy, are jumping in with monetary donations.

Zagreb County immediately allocates 5,5 million kn (about €730,000).

Samobor immediately allocates 500,000 kn (about €66,200).

Opatija immediately allocates 300,000 kn (about €40,000).

Istria County, Đakovo, and Rijeka immediately allocate 200,000 kn (about €27,000) each.

Dubrovnik, Split, Šibenik, and Zadar immediately allocate 150,000 kn (about €20,000) each. These are the first cities to announce they're skipping the fireworks in favour of donations.

Osijek, Imotski, Vinkovci, Trilj, Solin, Vodice, Vrbovec, and Metković immediately allocate 100,000 kn (about €13,500) each.

Gospić immediately allocates 80,000 kn (about €10,500).

Kastav immediately allocates 75,000 kn (about €10,000).

Trogir, Valpovo, Supetar, and Vrbovec immediately allocate 70,000 kn (about €9,300) each.

Makarska, Požega, Lipik, Kutjevo, Pakrac, Pleternica, Zabok, Novi Vinodolski, Bjelovar, Zlatar, Donja Stubica, Cres, Krk, Mali Lošinj, and Rab immediately allocate 50,000 kn (about €7,000) each.

Ivanec immediately allocates 25,000 kn (about €3,300).

Skradin immediately allocates 15,000 kn (about €2,000).

Along with monetary help, countless cities and areas also send equipment, materials, and personnel for assistance. 

In addition to the amount above, cities (especially major ones) have already pledged to, or will likely pledge to, give further amounts in the days and weeks to come.

An overwhelming surge of non-Croatian help, too

Support from countries outside of Croatia has been overwhelming.

Albania, which was struck by a 6.4-magnitude earthquake in 2019, after which Croatia sent help, will donate €250,000.

Serbia will be sending €1 million.

The European Union pledged monetary and material support. Immediate assistance was offered by Austria, Bulgaria, Czechia, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and Turkey. These 13 countries supplied much-needed housing containers, tents, sleeping bags, beds, and electrical heaters.

Other organisations, such as UNICEF and the International Medical Corps, are sending help, too.

Voluntary fire brigades from Austria have come to the aid of the victims.

A Slovenian construction company sent truckloads of equipment across the border:

There's a saying in Croatia, "U muci se poznaju junaci" - "Hard times reveal heroes".

For ways you can help, check here.

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