This rapid damage and needs assessment report presents estimates for damage, loss, reconstruction and recovery from the March 2020 earthquake in Croatia, and supports recovery strategy planning and development of necessary frameworks for reconstruction. On March 22, 2020 at 6:24 am, Croatia was hit by a powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 5.5. The epicenter was at Markuševec, 7 km north of the center of Zagreb, at a depth of only 8 km. The March 2020 earthquake resulted in one fatality, 26 injuries, and the displacement of thousands of people. In the aftermath of the earthquake, 488 people were housed in an evacuation center, and an unknown number took shelter with friends and relatives. The earthquake resulted in damage to about 26,000 buildings in the City of Zagreb, Krapina-Zagorje County and Zagreb County. The earthquake occurred in the middle of a nationwide lockdown linked to the COVID-19 outbreak, requiring an immediate response in unique, unprecedented circumstances. Overall, the Croatian government is currently addressing a multifaceted emergency caused by the global pandemic, an economic recession and the earthquake of March 22.
In the weeks following the earthquake, the Croatian government launched the preparation of a Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (RDNA), which was coordinated by the Ministry of Construction and Physical Planning. The damage, loss, reconstruction and recovery estimates have been compiled in this report. The RDNA aims to provide a structured and comprehensive account of the earthquake’s effects. The report will complement the further planning of an overall post-earthquake recovery strategy and the development of the necessary institutional, legal and financial framework for the reconstruction. This coordinated assessment process has also been used by the Croatian government to prepare its application to the European Union Solidarity Fund.