Five regions in southern Bulgaria still in difficulties over snowfall

Hundreds of villages and small towns in southern Bulgaria began March 10 without electricity and with blocked local roads as the battle continued against the aftermath of the huge snowfalls that began four days earlier.

The situation in the regions of Smolyan, Kurdzhali, Haskovo, Pazardzhik and Plovdiv remained dire, public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television said. In places the snow was more than two metres deep.

A total of 210 schools in the worst-hit areas were closed because of the heavy snowfalls and some were to remain closed on March 11.

In the Kurdzhali region, the municipality of Ardino and parts of the municipalities of Kirkovo and Chernoochene still had no power supply. However, expectations were that most of the electricity supply problems would be solved by the end of the day.

Roads to the principal towns of the municipalities had been cleared but dozens of villages remained cut off. Efforts were to continue on March 10 to restore access to them.

Progress was being made in restoring mobile phone networks. Many places were reported to lack food and drinking water.

The crisis staff in Kurdzhali was ready to send food where needed. Additional rugged-terrain vehicles were to be sent to the area to enable rescue teams to respond quickly to people in need of emergency care.

Weather forecasters said that rain and snowfall was expected to stop on March 11 and mid-week to see slightly warmer temperatures. March 12 to 14 were forecast to see precipitation again, mostly light rain, but in some places at high altitudes in western Bulgaria and between the Danubian plains and the higher reaches of the Balkan range, the rain would temporarily turn to snow.

March 15 was forecast to bring higher temperatures and dry weather, but this would last only for a few days before rain and snow returned.



The Sofia Globe staff

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