ZAGREB, September 21, 2020 — According to seismologist Tomislav Fiket, Zagreb has not been hit by a major earthquake yet. In fact, we could expect earthquakes up to 30 times stronger for this area.
In the last 24 hours alone, the people of Zagreb have felt three earthquakes. However, Zagreb and its surroundings have been constantly shaking since the great earthquake on March 22 of this year. Tomislav Fiket works for the Croatian Seismological Service in Zagreb. He is warning that, despite the severity of the last one, we cannot rule out the possibility of a major earthquake.
Major Earthquake 30 Times Stronger
In an interview with RTL Direkt, Fiket claims a major earthquake still has not happened in the Zagreb area. He could only say with certainty, that one would occur. “As drastic as the consequences were, unfortunately it’s not the maximum energy that can be expected in the Zagreb area,” he said. Asked what a major earthquake is in terms of power, he explained: between 6.3 and 6.5 on the Richter scale.
“It is about thirty times stronger than the earthquake on March 22. For the Dubrovnik area, it is around seven on the Richter scale,” claims the seismologist. They do not know how much more the ground will shake.
“If I knew when it would stop, I would be in a very good position. The situation is so that this can still continue. Relaxation is still going on. The quake itself is the result of the tension that occurred and that energy was released at the time of the earthquake. Now, it is slowly leveling and that’s what we still experience as an earthquake,” explains Fiket.
No Funds For Adequate Monitoring Network
He added that the Croatian Seismological Service does not have its own application for monitoring earthquakes, due to a lack of money. As for equipment, he said that the Croatian seismological service consists of 17 permanent stations. Four of them are donations from the City of Zagreb and they make up the Zagreb network.
“This is what is maintained by the Seismological Service, which works non-stop. For example, Neighboring Italy has thousands of stations. Slovenia has more than 50 of them. It is simply a fact that we have a country with an ungrateful shape and that the territory could be covered better. We need a dense network of stations, for which we do not have the funds,” says Fiket.
When asked if such a dense network could predict earthquakes at least a few hours in advance, he confirmed. “A dense network solves two problems. First, the automatic location would be much better. Therefore, the on-duty civil protection services would receive accurate information on time and place of the earthquake. Second, we could collect a much larger number of data of weak tremors. As a result, this would help us learn more about the seismicity of Croatia and draw better conclusions,” Fiket added.
Click here to see the complete interview with Tomislav Fiket (Croatian).