Snow Chaos in BULGARIA: Government Declares Code Red For Entire Country, Road Closures, Power Cuts

Code Red declared in Bulgaria under Road Traffic Act: minister (Focus News, Jan 26, 2012):

Sofia. “I declare Code Red for the entire country under the Road Traffic Act,” Bulgarian Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Lilyana Pavlova announced at a press conference, FOCUS News Agency reporter informs.
The traffic of freight vehicles of more than 10 tons is suspended throughout the entire country. No heavy-freight vehicles will be allowed to cross the Bulgarian border.
The ban is valid only for heavy-freight vehicles of more than 10 tons and not for buses and cars.
“In some places the snow-cover reaches 2 meters,” the minister remarked.

Road closures, power cuts as Bulgaria buckles under weight of snow (Sofia Echo, Jan. 27 2012):

Weighed down by heavy snow, Bulgaria woke up on January 27 2012 to closed roads, snow drifts of up to two metres and 121 villages without electricity.

The situation in Rousse remained severe, Bulgarian National Television said.

Efforts were being made to restore traffic access for lorries bound for Romania while at border crossings with Greece and Turkey, lorries were being held at parking bays.

States of emergency had been declared on January 26 in Svoge, Lovech, Ivanovo, Lisichevo, Batak, Velingrad and Popovo.

Emergency teams from electricity distribution companies and civil defence teams were working on restoring power supplies and clearing roads.

Sofia Airport had cancelled flights to Frankfurt and Bulgaria’s Black Sea city of Bourgas, according to Bulgarian National Television.

Overnight, snow in western Bulgaria had begun to stop but the situation remained difficult in the Danubian plain and in eastern Bulgaria.

A Code Orange weather warning was in force in Bourgas, Varna and Dobrich. Code Yellow was declared in the districts of Yambol, Sliven, Turgovishte, Rousse, Razgrad, Silistra and Shoumen.

Roads were closed in the Dobrich area, except for the road to Balchik. Most schools in Dobrich were closed for the day on January 27.

The Road Infrastructure Agency said on the morning of January 27 that the road between the town of Shoumen and the Black Sea city of Varna was closed. There were strong winds in Varna.

Roads in the Byala and Obzor areas on the route between Varna and Bourgas were closed.

In the areas worst-hit by snow, snowfalls were expected to end between 5pm and 7.30pm, making clearing-up operations easier.

Electricity distribution company CEZ told bTV said 22 settlements, all in the mountains, were without power. Road access was difficult but local authorities had promised that these roads would be opened by the end of the day to enable power restoration to go ahead, the company said.

Schools were closed in Gabrovo and Varna, bTV said.

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