Bulgaria Grapples with Winter Havoc: Stranded Trains, Blocked Roads, and Power Outages

Society » ENVIRONMENT | November 27, 2023, Monday // 08:17
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Grapples with Winter Havoc: Stranded Trains, Blocked Roads, and Power Outages

Transport chaos, blocked roads and stranded trains, hundreds of settlements without electricity and no school Monday in the most affected places. This is the result after heavy snowfall over the weekend.

The worst situation today is in North-Eastern Bulgaria. A code red for hazardous weather is in effect there. The bad weather, unfortunately, also took its toll. A homeless man died of frostbite in Kazanlak.

Over 280 schools in 13 districts will not open their doors tomorrow due to the complicated situation.

In places, the snow that fell in Northeastern Bulgaria reached 40 centimeters and caused real chaos. Firefighters from Razgrad managed to save nine people, including five children. They got stuck in the snow in the morning with three cars. They are sheltered at the fire department in Tsar Kaloyan.

60% of subscribers in the region remained without electricity for hours. One hundred teams are fixing the accidents. In the Ruse region, the situation has already returned to normal, but the damage is enormous. The wet snow uprooted trees, downed power lines and snapped wires. There are dozens of reports of cars trapped by fallen trees. Throughout the day, heavy equipment was pulling stuck tracks near Volovo, and stopped trains turned many people's journey into a real nightmare.

The wrath of winter fell on the inhabitants of 40 settlements in Ruse region. They have been in the dark for 24 hours.

"I expect that if the electricity doesn't turn on tonight, the water will also stop," a resident said.

Trucks and cars blocked the Ruse-Sofia road. Firefighters rescued a family with two children who ran out of fuel in the Byala area.

"There is no internet, there is nothing... 300 kilometers ahead, we don't know what the road will be like. We must seek responsibility from the Road Infrastructure Agency because they are not doing their job," Pavlin Vasilev is categorical.

"Those companies that take the millions in advance, they should have sprinkled with salt and there wouldn't have been anything," said Todor Nikolov.

The snow did not spare the railway transport either. Bulgarians and Romanians were stranded on the international train to Sofia.

"We were told that it will leave sometime, someday, but it is not known at what time," explained Martin Yanakiev.

"There are fallen trees on the road. They are clearing it at the moment. They canceled two morning trains to Gorna Oryahovitsa and one to Varna," explained Kostadinova - an employee of “Bulgarian Railways”.

And at the central bus station, no bus has arrived or departed. The trolleys in Ruse will probably not move tomorrow either, due to a fault in the catenary network. Dozens of cars were also damaged because the snowstorm brought down trees on them.

"The damage is a broken windshield, side mirror. My husband moved the car so they could come and remove the tree. We filed a report," said Petya Panteva.

130 settlements in the Dobrich region had problems with power supply. 30 villages remained without water. Farmers brought out their machinery to clear the snow so they could work tomorrow.

"I'm basically full will milk, we should be worried - my colleague is stuck on Karnobat too. If the road is open, we will continue, if not - there is nowhere to go. That's how we'll hang on the roads," said Nejati Fevzi, a truck driver.

"All the persons who are undergoing hemodialysis tomorrow, their transportation has been organized. Some were already admitted to the Multispeciality Hospital on Saturday," said Sonia Georgieva, mayor of Dobrich municipality.

After ten hours of clearing and sandblasting, the Silistra-Ruse road was opened for traffic. Due to the severe winter conditions, the schools in Silistra region will remain closed, but the kindergartens and nurseries will work normally today.

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Tags: snow, roads, conditions

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