On this day, November 3rd, 2010, at 1 hour and 56 minutes local time, Kraljevo was hit by a strong earthquake of magnitude 5.3 – 5.4 on the Richter scale.

The epicentre of the earthquake was 10 km northeast of Kraljevo, in the village of Sirča, along an 8 km long fault, in the Gruža river valley, in the Čačak-Kraljevo basin. The hypocentre of the earthquake was located at a depth of about 13 km. In a diameter of 20 km in relation to the epicentre, the intensity of the phenomenon was estimated at degree VII according to the Mercalli scale. After the main one, in the wider area of Kraljevo, earthquakes with a magnitude of 1 to 4.5 on the Richter scale followed. The earthquake was felt throughout Serbia, in neighbouring Bulgaria, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and on a global scale it is considered an earthquake of moderate intensity. On the territory of Serbia, it happens on average for about ten years.

A state of emergency was declared in Kraljevo, water was not used for drinking, there was no heating and electricity, mobile telephony was interrupted. Many buildings and houses, objects of public importance in the city centre, as well as in the wider surroundings, were demolished and damaged. The streets were covered with pieces of glass, concrete, and plaster. The functioning of the Health Centre “Studenica” was made difficult. Vitanovac suffered great damage, with over two-thirds of the buildings destroyed. Damage was visible on houses in Sirča, Vitkovac, Stubal, Grdica, Mataruška Banja, Ribnica and other places around the city. The northern wall of the Žiča Monastery has cracked.

Building in Cara Lazara Street, 2019, Kraljevo, photo by Srđan Vulović, Documentation of the National Museum Kraljevo.

Two people died in the earthquake, and around 180 were injured. More than 16,000 buildings were damaged, of which more than 1,500 were out of use, and more than ten thousand needed rehabilitations. 8,500 apartments and several hundred commercial buildings were damaged. Material damage was estimated at more than 12 billion dinars.

The Government of the Republic of Serbia, relevant ministries, state enterprises, various state institutions, institutions and associations, many cities and municipalities from Serbia, Montenegro and the Republic of Srpska provided financial and material assistance to Kraljevo. In addition, assistance was provided by the governments of several European countries, many private companies from Serbia, foreign companies operating in Serbia, non-governmental organizations, foundations, and individuals. Thanks to their quick reaction in delivering aid to Kraljevo, as well as the zeal of the state and local self-government, the consequences of the earthquake were repaired to a large extent in the following months.

Oleg Romanov
archaeologist, senior curator
National Museum Kraljevo

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