A Cold Monday in Bulgaria: Country Continues to be Paralyzed

Written by on January 9, 2017 in Bulgaria, Latest - No comments

Because of the extreme cold, new weather warnings are in place for all of Bulgaria on Monday. While Sofia, Pernik and Kyustendil got Code Orange warnings at first, the rest of the country was placed under Code Yellow warnings. At 6:00 a.m. this morning, the orange dots on the map were replaced with yellow ones.

A week ago, Bulgaria had hoped to be back to normal by now, but those hopes faded, when forecasters began extending the dangerous cold spell well into this week.

In the country’s schools, kids should have been studying again since last Thursday, but they stayed home, since there were too many dangers. The flu was spreading, all that snow fell from the sky, and now it is the cold. As long as a certain, cozy temperature can not be guaranteed in classrooms, because of the extreme cold outside, schools will remain closed. That is why the Education Ministry in Sofia just extended the Christmas vacations by another two days, for the bigger part of the country.

But in Sofia, Vratsa, Kyustendil, Pernik and other regions, it is unclear weather schools will actually open on Wednesday. In regions such as Gabrovo, Burgas, Blagoevgrad, Montana, Yambol, Silistra, Pazardzhik, Ruse and Plovdiv, Thursday will be the first school day. But that might change as well. Only in Vidin and Varna, schools might open tomorrow.

In the meantime, the Danube is partially frozen. The large river between Bulgaria and Romania rarely freezes completely. During the very tough winter of 1953, the Danube was frozen for a duration of 89 days. Bulgarians are hoping this will no happen this time around, since it would mean a long continuation of the extreme cold.

Bulgarian National Television reported, the situation in the town of Ruse, located up at the Danube, was normalising to some extent, while the military had to help workers to restore electricity for countless villages in the region. The road from Silistra to Ruse, Shumen and Dobrich was reopened yesterday. And the Danube Bridge border crossing is now even open for trucks.

According to the Bulgarian Road Agency, the temperatures in the country ranged from -29 to -6 degrees on Sunday. Little change is expected today. In both the western town of Blagoevgrad and Dobrich in the north-east, minimum temperatures of -19 degrees Centigrade were forecast. Pernik, Sofia and central Bulgaria will experience lows of around -15 degrees this morning, and around -10 degrees later in the day. Along the Black Sea coast, the range will be from -12 to -6 degrees.

Complete driving bans were still in place in Silistra, Razgrad, Dobrich and Shumen. Three highways, Trakiya, Struma and Maritza, were open to all kinds of vehicles. Hemus highway was open for heavy vehicles around Sofia only.

Delays still had to be expected on Bulgaria’s railway routes and for flights in and out of Bulgaria, as well as within the country.

By Imanuel Marcus

In cooperation with The Sofia Globe.




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