Zagreb, Croatia, March 23, 2020
The capital city of Croatia was rocked by a 5.4-magnitude earthquake yesterday, March 22, leaving a number of ruined buildings in its wake.
The quake was the largest to affect the city in 140 years. At least 17 people were injured, and the spire snapped off of the city’s Catholic cathedral. The Parliament building was also damaged, reports the BBC.
Besides the Catholic cathedral, the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of the Transfiguration also suffered severe damage. Thankfully, there are no injuries among the priests of the Serbian Church serving in Zagreb nor in their families, as Deacn Dragan Radic informed the Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
His Eminence Metropolitan Porfirije of Zagreb later released a statement, noting that there are no known injuries among any of the Serbian Orthodox faithful, though a number of buildings belonging to the Metropolis were damaged.
Met. Porfirije urged all who are in need, whether from the earthquake or from the coronavirus, to reach out to the Metropolis, which will do its best to help, knowing that God will not forsake the faithful.
The Metropolitan’s statement reads:
No temptation comes alone. At this moment, when the whole world is trying to cope with the corona virus, Zagreb has experienced an earthquake this morning. As far as I know, there are no victims among our faithful, but there is certainly huge damage to the buildings owned by our Metropolitanate.
The church before the earthquake. Photo: pravoslavie.ru First of all, great damage has been done at our Orthodox Cathedral at the Cvetni trg (Flower Square). It is pretty huge and I’m afraid it will be even bigger when we get an insight into the static situation at the Cathedral. However, the Cathedral belongs to the first category of protection of cultural monuments of Croatia. It is, like the Catholic Cathedral in Zagreb, the work of the Austrian architect Hermann Bohle, while the icon paintings were rendered by the famous Russian icon painter Aleksander Muhin, who has been in charge of the interior decoration works of the Saint Sava Church in Belgrade.
On this occasion, I address all our faithful, and in general, people who have any need due to the corona virus or due to the consequence of this earthquake, to contact us, to apply to our priests, and we will do our utmost to help them. We believe that God will not forsake us and in this way He invites us to Himself. It is certain that temptations are never greater than the spiritual strengths that we as humans can endure, especially if we are solidary and functionating as a community.