A state of emergency was in effect in the district of Shoumen in north-eastern Bulgaria and in the municipality of Ruen on December 20 2012 as the eastern part of the country struggled with the consequences of heavy snowfalls, including power cuts and traffic disruptions.
Shoumen announced a complete ban on all kinds of vehicle traffic while some who had attempted to travel found themselves stranded. Some schools in the district were closed.
In the municipality of Ruen, about 30 out of 39 villages were without power, some had no water supply and almost all roads were impassable because of snow drifts.
Power utility EVN said on December 20 that at 8.30am, a total of 260 places including small villages had electricity supply problems. Most of the places without power were in high mountain areas, mainly in the districts of Smolyan and Kurdjali, where in the past day weather had deteriorated, the power utility said.
There were also customers without electricity in the region of Sliven and part of Bourgas.
EVN teams were targeting problem areas but a major challenge was the fact that some places were inaccessible because of road conditions.
On December 20, a Code Orange dangerous weather warning was declared for 12 regions of Bulgaria, including Gabrovo, Veliko Turnovo, Rousse, Turgovishte, Razgrad, Silistra, Shoumen, Dobrich, Varna, Bourgas, Sliven and Yambol.
Tertiary roads in Rousse, Turgovishte, Razgrad, Silistra, Shoumen, Razgrad, Varna, Bourgas, Sliven and Stara Zagora were closed to traffic, while problems also were reported on main roads in these areas.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)