Four regions in north-eastern Bulgaria remain in a severe situation because of snowdrifts and icy roads, Public Works and Regional Development Minister Lilyana Pavlova said on January 9.
Shoumen, Silistra, Dobrich and Montana have the most serious snow drifts and serious challenges to road-clearing teams, Pavlova said.
Meanwhile, there were limitations on shipping on the Bulgarian stretch of the Danube River on January 9 as the ice cover reached more than 60 per cent.
Pavlova, at a regular briefing on the winter weather crisis situation that in recent days has seen searingly cold below-zero temperatures across Bulgaria, lashed out at the unwillingness of some lorry drivers to fit chains to their tyres.
She said that the most serious problem was with heavy carriers, who on a large scale did not fit snow chains. “Either they don’t have them, or don’t want to put them on, or take them off after they go some distance on from the Traffic Police. This is a huge problem,” Pavlova said.
Temperatures in Bulgaria in the early morning of January 9 ranged from minus 21 degrees Celsius to minus five. The weather was cloudy, with winds across most of the country.
Traffic restrictions on cars were in place on minor roads in the Silistra, Razgrad, Dobrich and Shoumen regions.
The Hemus, Struma and Maritza motorways were open to all vehicles, as were the Black Sea and Lyulin highways. The Trakiya Motorway also was open to all vehicles, while in the area of the road near the village of Malo Konare, about eight km from Pazardzhik and 28km from Plovdiv, the speed limit was reduced to 80km/h because of constant snowdrifts.
(Photo: Michael Hornak)