Officials meet with Army engineers who are setting up a container village in Petrinja to house earthquake victims (Photo: Robert Anic/PIXSELL) Officials meet with Army engineers who are setting up a container village in Petrinja to house earthquake victims (Photo: Robert Anic/PIXSELL)

These are milder, but no less stressful for local residents and coupled with snow and cold temperatures, it is all making recovery efforts more difficult. The priority on the ground is to get people whose homes have been destroyed or badly damaged into adequate housing. The head of the National Civil Defense Task Force for the Earthquake, Tomo Medved, said everyone affected could be placed in temporary housing within 20 days.

The groundwork is being laid to create a temporary mobile home community in Petrinja. Prior to the cold snap, construction crews were having trouble with the muddy ground. Mayor Darinko Dumbović says he has arranged for the area to be asphalted.

"I want all of this to be asphalted so people don't need to tread over rocks and mud. The goal, in my mind, even if it takes seven days or more, is to create a more permanent solution without improvising," Dumbović said.

The army has 360 soldiers, engineering equipment, and trucks on the ground. These teams are working on fixing roads, securing potential landslides, and other groundwork jobs. The state-run company Pleter, which provides meals for the military, has now also joined the relief effort. They will be able to prepare up to 10 thousand warm meals a day, says Minister Medved.

"Pleter is taking over the preparation of food for the wider Petrinja area and rural areas around Glina. In coordination with local officials they will deliver food based on need as specified by those officials and to specific distribution points,” Medved said.

In addition to the 10 thousand warm meals, Pleter would also be delivering sack lunches as a second meal, he added. A group of volunteer chefs have been cooking thousands of warm meals per day in downtown Petrinja. Medved said they could stay on as long as they wanted.

Shipping containers equipped for temporary housing will also be used in Sisak for residents who have lost their homes in the earthquake. There are 69 containers at three locations in the city. One container camp is already full. Crews are working on bringing electricity to another and a third is being set up near the local football stadium. Some 150 people are still sheltering in local school gyms. Once these container camps are set up, they will be moved in, says Sisak Mayor Kristina Ikič Baniček.

"As we get electricity to the containers, we will be moving families in," she said.

Firefighters continued dismantling the tower on the Sisak Cathedral on Monday. After removing the roof on Sunday, they took down its three bells, which weigh between 300 and one thousand kilograms. Firefighters have spent four days securing and dismantling the tower, which was compromised by the earthquake and poses a serious threat to nearby buildings.