The heavy snowfalls and cold weather killed three people in Bulgaria, with a state of emergency declared in parts of north-western Bulgaria and authorities warning against travel to the area.
In Vratsa and Montana districts, strong winds and heavy snow had created snowdrifts reaching as high as four metres, reports said. Rescue teams were needed to evacuate 320 people and free hundreds of cars trapped in the snow, but some villages were still without electricity on December 30.
Three people died after being trapped in snow – a patient in an ambulance, a man inside his car and one in his own backyard.
Bulgaria’s road infrastructure agency banned all heavy trucks from travelling in north-western Bulgaria, as well as saying that people should avoid using any small country roads in the area.
More snowfall has been forecast on December 31, mainly in eastern and south-eastern Bulgaria, with temperatures on New Year’s Eve expected to drop below -12C throughout most of the country. Most of the country would be covered by a cold weather front in the first days of 2015, but no major snowfalls were expected until the weekend, according to the weather forecasts.
(Photo: Michael Hornak)