Bulgaria on Saturday: Weather Warnings, Impatience and Criticism

Written by on January 14, 2017 in Bulgaria, Latest - No comments

Due to rain, which will likely turn into ice, and additional snowfall, Code Yellow weather warnings were issued for eight regions in north-western Bulgaria and for the capital of Sofia. The regions are Kyustendil, Pernik, Sofia (region and city), Lovech, Pleven, Vidin, Montana and Vratsa. Since, during daytime, 3 to 5 degrees Centigrade will be reached, with lows at around -6 degrees in the mornings, the temperatures themselves are not considered dangerous anymore. The warnings are about roads, streets and sidewalks, which will likely be very slippery.

In eastern Bulgaria, most regions will be above the freezing point, even at night. Therefore, there is no new weather warning for that part of the country. Shumen, Yambol, Varna, Burgas and other regions in the west will hit 9 degrees today, according to forecasters. While temperatures were far too low during the latest weather crisis, they will be exceptionally high today.

A new cold spill from northern Europe will hit Bulgaria this coming week. Night temperatures of -8 to -15 degrees are expected, depending on the region.

Bulgarians, along with expats in the country, seem to be getting tired of this harsh winter and its consequences. In Sofia, disgruntled passengers of a local train, who did not want to accept more delays, stopped a regional train by standing on the tracks, risking their lives. The police was not able to calm down those passengers, whose demand was finally met, when their slow train was allowed to use the tracks ahead of the faster regional train.

The conditions on Sofia sidewalks. Photo by Spaci Sofia.

In Sofia, inhabitants were forced to walk on slippery sidewalks full of snow in the past days. Especially for elderly people, these kinds of conditions are dangerous. The NGO Spaci Sofia (“Save Sofia”) sharply criticized the municipality. On social media, the organization invited Mayor Yordanka Fandakova “to get out of her warm and comfty Mercedes and try to walk around in Sofia”. Spaci Sofia suggested that only then the mayor would understand that the cleaning system was not functioning.

The latest weather crisis in Bulgaria started during the last hours of 2016, when drivers got stuck in the snow on the nation’s highways. Storms, extremely low temperatures and excessive snowfall led to all kinds of issues such as blocked roads, electricity and water outages and school closures. At least three refugees froze to death.

By Imanuel Marcus

Photos by Spaci Sofia.

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