Deaths, traffic disruptions as heavy snowfalls hit Balkans

Five people have died and there have been serious traffic and transport disruptions in the Balkans as the region has been hard-hit by serious snowfalls.

Four of the deaths were in Croatia, while Zagreb airport was closed for some hours on December 8 and more than 200 snow-cleaning machines were working to clear streets in the Croatian capital which also saw serious public transport disruptions.

In Serbia, local media said on December 9 that one person had died and there had been major traffic disruptions on the highway to the Hungarian border because of heavy snowfall.

The situation was most difficult in Vojvodina and there was more than 20cm of snow in Belgrade, according to news website B92, which said that the company in charge of street-cleaning was struggling to clear the streets in the Serbian capital city after the heavy snowfalls.

Serbia was not allowing trucks to cross the Serbian-Bulgarian border, Bulgaria’s road infrastructure agency said, local media reported on December 9.

In Macedonia, a ban that had been in effect on the Debar – Struga road on the movement of heavy vehicles, imposed on December 6 because of heavy snowfall, was lifted on December 8.

Slovenia and Bosnia also saw heavy snowfalls and in Romania, which was holding elections on December 9, disruptions because of harsh winter weather were reported.

In Bulgaria, a code orange weather warning was in effect on December 9 in Kurdjali, Blagoevgrad, Pazardzhik and Smolyan because of expected heavy snowfalls. By Sunday afternoon, 40cm of snow was reported to have fallen in Smolyan.

The lesser code yellow warning was in effect in Sofia, Pernik, Kyustendil and Montana. Serious snowfalls were predicted for the Bulgarian capital city on the evening of December 9.

On December 10, rain was expected to stop, while the following day rain and snow were forecast for south eastern Bulgaria and Wednesday was expected to see snow while in the eastern regions the day would start with rain, later turning to snow.




The Sofia Globe staff

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