Devastating earthquake in Croatia! Who will save us? Kids with smartphones… But not this time.
December 29, 2020, was quite a warm day in the town of Petrinja, located in central Croatia, about 50 kilometres away from Zagreb. Twelve degrees just seemed to be a bit too warm for this time of the year when it was supposed to be snowing.
“My 11 years old son is speaking two foreign languages, you know that right?” a man from Petrinja was on the phone with his brother in Zagreb.
“That is impressive. Here in Zagreb, kids have smartphones and tablets,” replied his brother Zvonimir. “My daughter has so many smart-ass applications such as National Geographic Kids, Duolingo, Quick Maths. She is nine years old, and she is already more intelligent than I am. Kids are just too smart these days. It seems all kids are smart now.”
“Yeah, maybe that is not very good. We need stupid people, for the sake of balance,” a brother from Petrinja laughed when his house started shaking. He dropped the phone.
“Hello?” Zvonimir asked, frightened while his flat in Zagreb was shaking as well.”
There was no signal.
Croatia was yesterday hit by a devastating magnitude 6.4 earthquake with the epicentre in Petrinja. The whole of the country was shaking heavily, but the town of Petrinja ended up demolished. At least seven people have died under the ruins, dozens have been injured, houses are down to the ground, people have lost their homes. Help is coming from all the parts of Croatia and neighbouring countries. It was the second major earthquake this year after the first one hit Zagreb in March. That one was 5.5 on the Richter scale.
“Brother!” Zvonimir exclaimed when he finally got his brother on the phone after an hour of trying.
“Miraculously we are all fine,” the brother from Petrinja said. But the house is gone. Nothing is left.”
“Good to hear you are good.”
“How is the situation in Zagreb?”
“It was shaking heavily, but no major damage. We are all fine.”
Look, the most important thing is you and your family is fine,” Zvonimir said. “Put your wife and your son in the car and send them in Zagreb. I am heading in the opposite direction to help you with the ruins.”
December 29, 2020, was quite a warm day in the town of Petrinja. Twelve degrees just seemed to be a bit too warm for this time of the year when it was supposed to be snowing.
Zvonimir arrived in Petrinja and met with his brother. The ground was still shaking due to earthquake aftershocks.
“I am glad to see you alive!” Zvonimir said when he saw his brother in front of his demolished house.
The brother slipped a tear down his eye as he pointed on the house.
“Fuck it!” Zvonimr said. “We will build a new one!”
“How is my family? Have they arrived in Zagreb yet?”
“They have. Your son is already forgetting about this and along with my daughter, learning languages on their tablets.”
“I told you we needed stupid people. If all of our kids keep learning languages and algorithms, who will be rebuilding houses, streets and cities?”
“I am not sure there will be anything to rebuild here soon, to be honest.”
“What do you mean?” the brother asked. “Look at all these broken houses.”
“Brother, it is the end of December. Don’t you think it is a bit too warm for this time of year?”
“What are you saying?”
“Global warming… We keep destroying this planet. It is our fault for what is happening,” Zvonimir looked around at ruins.
“Are you saying these earthquakes were caused by global warming?”
“They might be. I don’t know. But we are certainly not helping to prevent it. By any means,” Zvonimir said when another aftershock hit the ground. “Fucking hell! They say there is still time to change the mindset and save the planet, though.”
“Let’s not pretend, we can’t go back, we can’t really heal the planet,” Zvonimir said while the ground was still slightly shaking… Not with all that technology we are producing daily. Not with all those kids being closed in their homes on their tablets, more distanced from the planet than ever… We can go forward, that’s what we can. “
“So who will go forward?”
“The kids will!”
“You just said they would not do anything to save us, our planet.”
“That is right. But that very same technology that will destroy our planet will assist them in finding sustainable life somewhere else, on some other planet. Just when it might seem that we have come to an end of the road, that we have managed to destroy ourselves, the coin will flip, and everything will be good again. We will continue our evolution, but not here.”
“They can’t put a few bricks together, but they can find life on Mars?”
“Yup, the new generation is so developed for a reason. That’s why your 11-years old son is speaking two foreign languages, and that’s why my nine-year-old daughter understands the Gauss’s law. They will need to find life somewhere far away from the planet Earth. And that is why there can’t be stupid kids these days. That’s why they are all so smart. There is a huge task ahead of them. They will need to set up a new civilisation. With masks on their noses. It is the task of all tasks, and they will need to perform. Soon!”
“Come on, let’s pick up the ruins. Let’s be the last stupid generation while we still have that privilege.”
Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this work are fictitious.