The latest bout of torrential rains on June 19 brought further flooding, power cuts and chaos to parts of Bulgaria and may have led to at least one death.
At the Black Sea coast, the city of Varna’s Asparuhouvo area was inundated, with cars being swept away by surging water which also caused substantial other property damage.
In the capital city Sofia, viewers jammed the switchboard of public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television with complaints of intermittent power cuts, some lasting hours, BNT said on June 19.
BNT reported electricity distribution company CEZ as saying that in recent days, there had been many incidents because of frequent storms and heavy rains. All of the power utility’s teams were on duty around the clock, dealing with damage, the report said.
Across Bulgaria, firefighting teams had responded to 170 calls reporting serious situations, reports said. Of these, 153 were appeals for rescue assistance.
In the Chavdar municipality in the Sofia region, not to be confused with the Sofia municipality itself, estimates were that 100 buildings had been damaged as the rain bucketed down.
In the region of Bourgas on Bulgaria’s Black Sea, there were 30 reports of serious flooding, especially in the campsites of Smokini, Kavatzi and Gradina.
There were 47 calls to which emergency services responded in the Yambol region, including 35 of residential buildings being inundated by floodwater.
In the village of Smirnensky in Montana, four people were evacuated and given temporary shelter in the town hall, while three buildings were reported to have been partly destroyed by heavy rain.
In the Shoumen area, deluges of rain caused rivers to overflow, with houses flooded in the village of Vehtovo. Water was reported to have flowed to a level a metre above the village’s bridge. An elderly woman was evacuated from her home because of flooding.
Four villages in the Karlovo district were seriously hit by flash floods overnight. Three people were reported to have been struck by lightning.
Part of a house in the Lozenets area of the city of Stara Zagora collapsed after heavy rains overnight.
The body of a man was found on the morning of June 19 in Dimitrovgrad and the body of a child was found in Varna’s Asparuhouvo, although it remained to be confirmed whether their deaths were linked to the floods.
In Varna, there were reports of various problems because of the heavy rains, including disruptions to public transport, with services cancelled in some areas, not only because of the deluge but also after lightning struck a trolley bus.
Varna was reported to have been hit by 35 litres a sq m of rain on June 29, within the space of three hours. The average monthly rainfall in the Bulgarian Black Sea city is 60 litres a sq m.
Police in the city said that three people had been reported missing.
The situation in Asparouhovo living district was described in local media reports as disastrous. The main street was flooded. Cars and buses that were stuck because of the torrential rains. There were power cuts and streets were choked with mud.