Floods in Bulgaria: One dead in Vratsa, emergency in Rhodope villages

A 25-year-old man died in a Vratsa village as a result of floods as several hours of heavy rain deluged parts of central and western Bulgaria overnight from July 31 to August 1.

Hardest-hit were the regions of Vratsa, Montana, Plovdiv and the Rhodopes, where states of emergency were declared in seven villages, which also were cut off because of flood damage to roads.

The village of Malorad in the Vratsa region was evacuated because of concern that a reservoir wall would break.

Thirty-one thousand clients of power distributor CEZ were left without electricity because of the bad weather.

Places affected included villages in the regions of Vidin, Borovan, Byala Slatina, Vratsa, Mezdra, Roman, Boychinovtsi, Botevgrad, Kostinbrod and Svoge, as well as parts of the municipalities of Kremikovtsi, Lyulin and Ovcha Kupel in Sofia.

Emergency teams were working on restoring supply, the power utility said.

Vratsa mayor Nikolai Ivanov said on August 1 that the victim of the floods was a pastor who drowned in the village of Tishevitsa. In the Vratsa region, it rained continuously for 12 hours, with rainfall of 50 litres a sq m measured on July 31.

Drainage operations continued throughout the night in flooded areas of the Vratsa region. However, the municipality had not declared an emergency, Ivanov said.

Rhodope municipal mayor Plamen Spassov said that in the area, the most serious situation was in the village of Hrabrino where a retaining wall on the river had collapsed and the village had no drinking water.

In the village of Purvenets, a road bridge was seriously damaged by floodwaters and the only connection with other villages was a Roman bridge over which only small cars could pass.

Authorities cautioned tourists not to attempt to visit the areas this weekend.

In Sofia, where rain fell almost continuously for 15 hours, the municipality received 150 calls for assistance to deal with flooded basements, fallen trees and stranded cars. Firefighters assisted in draining properties in the Orlandovtsi part of the city. Rainfall in Sofia was measured at 32 litres a sq m on July 31.

The Sofia regional administration said that part of the Sofia – Svogbe road was flooded and a landslide blocked the road to the village of Leskov Dol.

Motorists were advised not to travel on roads in the Iskar Gorge, where there had been minor landslides and frequent rockfalls, until weather conditions improved.


Related stories:

Floods hit western and central Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania



The Sofia Globe staff

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