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27 March, 2020Earthquake Relief Fund - The City of Zagreb

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Dear Members,

Please allow me, foremost, to express to you and all members of the League of Historical Cities many heartfelt greetings on behalf of the citizens of Zagreb and myself.

One could not imagine that in the midst of the world going through one of biggest crises in world history, the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 22, 2020 the City of Zagreb would be rudely awakened by an earthquake. This has been the strongest earthquake to hit Zagreb in 140 years. We are still experiencing tremors and the full extent of damaged is yet to be assessed.

With the epicenter 7 km outside the city centre, the infrastructure of the surrounding neighborhoods of Zagreb was severely affected while the effect of the earthquake was devastating to the historic city centre. Our historic and cultural buildings and tangible cultural heritage have been extremely damaged. Parts of our parliament, cathedral, many churches and historical sites have collapsed. Debris has crushed cars and blocked roads and people have been injured. Hospitals have had to be evacuated.

City and Government first response was quick and effective. The City of Zagreb has organized housing assistance and meals for those citizens in need while still complying with measures implemented due to the COVID-19 crisis.

As Mayor, on March 23, 2020, I issued a Declaration of Natural Disaster in the City of Zagreb due to the Earthquake on the basis of which we also opened an account for special purposes – funds for earthquake reconstruction (IBAN HR5723600001502749340; SWIFT ZABAHR2X). We would be extremely grateful for any help and donations from your members, which will help us rebuild our infrastructure, restore our cultural heritage, make the continuation of business possible and above all, make the return of our citizens to their homes possible.

Yours sincerely,

Milan Bandić

Mayor of Zagreb