Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024


SOFIA: Two people died as stormy winds swept through Bulgaria and neighbouring Romania overnight Sunday.
Heavy rains and snowfall cut electricity lines and blocked or flooded roads in the east of the two countries, prompting a state of emergency in Bulgaria’s Black Sea region of Varna.
A 43-year-old woman was killed when a tree fell on her in downtown Varna late Saturday with falling branches also injuring two ambulance crew members who had rushed to the site of the accident, police said in a statement.
A tree crashed on a passing car on a Sofia suburban boulevard earlier Saturday, killing the 65-year-old driver and seriously injuring his wife, who was hospitalised, authorities said.
“Severe weather resulted in the loss of life. Stormy winds and heavy rain, in some places also snow, make the work of emergency teams very difficult at night,” Varna mayor Blagomir Kotsev said in a statement early Sunday, declaring a state of emergency and urging people to remain indoors.
“Power supply was disrupted in all five districts of the municipality. Tonnes of fallen branches and trees are blocking key roads… Vehicles and people are blocked,” he added.
The Varna airport remained open but some flights were delayed or cancelled. Train traffic was disrupted by fallen trees and branches on the rails.
Two small municipalities near Varna also declared a state of emergency Sunday.
Snowdrifts closed key roads in the north-east, with local police receiving dozens of signals for stranded vehicles.
The Bulgarian national weather services issued a code orange for dangerously strong winds in the whole of eastern Bulgaria on Sunday, warning of wind gusts of up to 100-125 km/h (62-77 m/h) and waves of over 5 metres along the Black Sea coast.
The same storm swept neighbouring Romania’s southeast, shutting Black Sea ports.
Romanian weather services issued the highest red weather alert with heavy rain and strong winds in two Black Sea regions bordering Bulgaria, while emergency services sent alerts to people’s phones telling them to stay indoors.
Thousands of households were left without electricity, firefighters intervened to remove 140 fallen trees, and 40 cars were damaged, the local emergency services said.
“Luckily there are no casualties,” Anamaria Stoica, spokesperson of the emergency services in Constanta, told AFP.
Two men had died during a spell of bad weather in Bulgaria earlier this month, a day after Storm Ciaran claimed at least 20 lives across western Europe and just two months after four people died after torrential rains flooded parts of Bulgaria’s southern Black Sea coastline.
Scientists have warned the world will experience more extreme weather events because of the global warming caused by greenhouse gases.


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