ZAGREB, November 1, 2020 — Thousands of Zagreb residents are still without hot water after the March 22 earthquake, which shook the capital of Croatia over seven months ago. Winter is around the corner, and there are still four thousand people are without heat and hot water.
Una Radić, a Zagreb resident, has been without hot water and heating for 223 days, according to Dnevnik.hr.
“Luckily, I have an electric stove so I can heat water in pots to wash myself. This is probably how people bathed 50 years ago (A/N 100 years ago). When I wash my hair, I use a pot and rinse my head with it,” Radić explains.
The chimney in her building must undergo repairs first. After those repairs are complete, the gas for the building can be reconnected. At first, she recalls, she became involved in coordinating the repairs with other building residents. However, she has since given up.
“I realized how long it takes, how difficult everything is, and how long you have to wait for everything. After that, I simply stopped wondering when it would all end,” added the Zagreb resident.
Nine Thousand in Zagreb Without Heat, Hot Water Post Earthquake, 4000 Still Waiting
The earthquake left nine thousand Zagreb households without heating and hot water. Seven months later, four thousand more are still without gas, which is the primary heating source in Zagreb.
The city must now initiate the process of reconnecting gas services for residents. Recently, the Zagreb assembly even adopted a resolution seeking an amendment to the Gas Act. In order to speed up the reconnection procedure, they must expand the circle of people who are able to perform chimney inspections. Therefore, the city must demand that chimney specialists are not the only professionals who are allowed to perform chimney inspections.
“After the repairs are complete, chimney specialists must issue inspection certificates confirming compliance with safety regulations. Due to that situation, the assembly proposes that, in addition to chimney specialists, these certificates may also be issued by civil or mechanical engineers,” suggests Tomislav Mazal, director of Gradska plinara (city gasworks) in Zagreb.
No Gas Service Reconnection Without Chimney Repairs, Inspections, Compliance Certificates
Most importantly, the city cannot turn on the gas without obtaining these compliance certificates. Therefore, the government must adopt the assembly’s recommendation. However, since winter is fast approaching, it is very likely that many homes in Zagreb will face the cold weather with cold water and cold radiators.
Follow our Lifestyle page for updates on Zagreb’s continued efforts to recover from damage caused by the March 22 earthquake. More information and images of damage from the earthquake can be found in the Facebook group Potres u Zagrebu – Svi mi u centru here.