Skier rescued after being buried under avalanche on Bulgaria’s Pirin mountain

A skier was rescued after being buried by a large avalanche below Todorka peak on Bulgaria’s Pirin mountain, reports on March 11 said.

Mountain Rescue Service teams from Bansko rushed to the site of the incident, which took place three days after an avalanche in the Pirin mountains left three skiers from Sofia dead.

Bulgarian Red Cross head Hristo Grigorov said that the new avalanche had been triggered after “reckless and extreme skiing” off-piste along the gullies under Todorka peak.

Grigorov, speaking before the rescue, said that the report of the incident had come from people on the cabin lift who said they saw the skiers swept away by the avalanche.

“This is a highly dangerous region. To reach it we have to pass gullies with high risk of causing more avalanches.

“The insanity of certain people puts at risk the life of the others, of the mountaineers, the mountain rescuers and the other tourists, too. Despite all, the teams are at the scene and we are looking for them. I do not have any information whether these people are Bulgarians or foreign nationals but they are being searched for now,” Grigorov said, according to a report by local news agency Focus.

As parts of Bulgaria continued to struggle with the aftermath of the heavy snowfalls that began on March 6, the head of the Commission for Energy Regulation, Svetla Todorova, said on March 11 that near 69 000 customers of EVN – the energy distribution company for southern Bulgaria – still had no electricity.

She said that it was expected that power to the most remote places would be restored by the end of the week.

Separate media reports estimated that overall, 200 000 Bulgarians still had no electricity in the areas affected by the huge heaps of snow that descended on southern Bulgaria. In the regions of Smolyan, Kurdzhali, Haskovo and Pazardzhik, many villages still had no power supply.

The levels of rivers in the Rhodope mountains were being monitored around the clock. While levels had risen, they were still below overflowing point on the morning of March 11.

Travel by road in the Rhodopes remained difficult because of high snow drifts, fallen trees and landslide.

Schools were closed in the Kurdzhali region on March 11, while all schools in the municipality of Smolyan were to remain closed on March 12 and 13.

(Photo of Pirin: Stanimira Stoeva)



The Sofia Globe staff

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