On Sunday, 22 March 2020, 6:24 AM, Zagreb City was hit by a 5.5-magnitude earthquake, which had its epicentre just 6 km north of the City.
The earthquake has caused a lot of material damage, especially to the old buildings in the historical City Center. Of the Jesuit Communities, the most damaged are the Sacred Heart Residence in Palmotićeva Street, which is also the seat of the Provincial Curia, and the old building of the St. Joseph’s College at Jordanovac Hill. There are many plaster falls, visible cracks in the walls and on the roofs. The level of damage to the building statics is yet to be assessed. The former Seminary building at Fratrovac Hill was hit less severely, but still with some visible cracks. Newer buildings at Jordanovac and Fratrovac show minor damage.
No Jesuit was injured. Some premises and the rooms of several brethren in Palmotićeva St. and Jordanovac College have been declared unsafe so we had to find alternative accommodation for them yesterday.
The large Sacred Heart Basilica in Zagreb City Centre, a protected monument built in 1902, has suffered the worst damage. One part of the ceiling collapsed, while the rest of the ceiling remained unstable. The monumental organ has been saved because it has been out for restauration since December 2017.
The reconstruction process is delayed by many aftershocks we are still experiencing. Also, the restrictions imposed because of the COVID-19 outbreak in Croatia make it more complicated. However, the Croatian Jesuit Province and the Sacred Heart Parish have already started preparations for the reconstruction of the Sacred Heart Basilica.
Our benefactors can make their contribution at the Parish account: Župa Presvetog Srca Isusova, Palmotićeva 31, Zagreb, OIB: 56433889446; IBAN: HR3923600001102464905, Swift Code: ZABAHR2X, with the note: „For Basilica Reconstruction“.
Thank you for your care and your prayers!
Zagreb, 23 March 2020
Fr. Dalibor Renić S.J.