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Caring for Croatian Nurses in Earthquake Epicentre

A nurse's personal story of the Croatian earthquake

"An ordinary Tuesday turned into a day that my family, as well as the towns of Petrinja, Sisak and Glina, will remember forever. It was 12.19 on 29 December 2020 in the area of Sisacko-moslavacka County when we were hit by a devastating earthquake, measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale, with it's epicentre 5 km southwest of Petrinja.

The earthquake happened while I was in my house, cleaning. At first I heard a horrible sound, like a grenade falling under my window. Boxes were falling from the shelf, the closet door flew open, clothes were hanging out and the mirror fell to the floor and shattered in pieces. Two high shelves collapsed and everything on them fell all around the room. I knelt down by the bed, covering my head, for what felt like an eternity. 

Instantly, I ran toward the outside and fell in the hallway. The Christmas trees were collapsing as if someone was turning them over. There, on my own, I realised I was all alone in the house. When I reached the door, I couldn't open it, it was stuck. I don’t know how I eventually opened it, but I finally found myself in my mom’s arms. At that moment, everything stopped. Dust was everywhere, as were screams and cries of neighbourhood children. We all found ourselves on the street, staring in disbelief at the homes we feared could collapse at any time. Broken chimneys, open roofs and cracks on the exterior walls of houses showed little stability and confidence, as the ground was still constantly shaking. Then I entered the house to get my wallet, mobile phone and jacket, which were, at that moment, the most important things. The house inside already looked, to say the least, like an apocalypse. Everything was destroyed, the elements of the kitchen fell out, the smell of brandy and pickled vegetables spread from the pantry. The house was full of glass. We ran out of water that day, the electricity went out and only came back on briefly at random times. That night no one slept and the only thing mattered was that we were all alive and well. Entering the house the next day I saw one walls of our houses with huge cracks on both sides, the chimneys were cracked and part of the roof was destroyed. There were large cracks on the walls of the upper floor. We are thankful to God that we are well. That is the most important thing for us.“ By Mateja Adamovi, critical care nurse

Shaking the fundaments

On November 29, a staggering earthquake of magnitude 6.4, badly shook Croatia. The epicentre was near Petrinja in Sisa ko moslava ka county, around 55 kilometres from Zagreb. A series of strong aftershocks resulted in major damage to homes and buildings, leaving 7 people dead under the rubble. Many victims feared returning to their homes due to the high probability of potential aftershocks. People slept in their cars or took refuge with relatives in safer areas and roughly 200 people found shelter in military barracks. The General Hospital in Sisak was practically out of order due to the serious damage, forcing patients to be evacuated to hospitals in Zagreb, where the earthquake also shook, but fortunately without significant damage. Nurses from Sisak, Petrinja and the badly affected areas, have been left homeless or have faced major damage to their apartments or houses. We are now in the midst of a great humanitarian crisis.

Nurses who are unsupported are unable to support patients and the health system. 

What we need to donate 

Food, water and hygienic needs are being organised by the Red Cross, including those donating or volunteering in the affected areas. The real, most pressing problem is the restoration and rebuilding of nurses homes and, last but not least, the means for temporary accommodation and travelling. With your support, we can assure financial assistance for this most urgent recovery.

The nurses we wish to support

Our targets for this crowd funding are nurses from Sisak and Petrinja, members of Croatian Nurses Society of Anaesthesia, Reanimation, Intensive Care and Transfusion and Croatian National Nurses Federation representing all nurses. We are currently in the process of actively tracing all nurses affected by the earthquake. This funding will create an enormous impact in supporting nurses from Croatia who are affected by the earthquake and urgently need to continue their lives and their work, especially in the midst of the COVID pandemic. Nurses who are unsupported are unable to support patients and the health system. 

Croatian Nurses Society of Anaesthesia, Reanimation, Intensive Care and Transfusion together with Croatian National Nurses Federation organised volunteers for affected areas and offered financial help for the members with financial support, but our resources are limited. We urgently need the help and donations of our international nursing colleagues.

We request your solidarity in helping us to reach a target of 10.000 euro in 4 weeks.

Support the Croatian Nurses with a donation

Beneficiary: CNSARICT

Address: Gospodska 15, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia


IBAN: HR6224840081103109811

Amount: from €10 upwards

Description ‘Support Croatian Nurses’

Please share your support online with messages to #SupportCroatianNurses

We thank all nurses for your understanding and your solidarity with your donation

This activity is supported by ESNO under the #Caring4Nurses campaign. 

This post is jointly created by ESNO and Croatian Nurses

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