Search continues for woman missing in fatal floods in Bulgaria’s Bourgas

Search efforts were continuing on October 26 to a find a woman who went missing the day before in flooding in Bourgas on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast, that left three people dead and caused extensive damage.

The most severe damage was in the villages of Ravnets, Cherni Vruh, Polski Izvor and Livada, as well as in the neighbourhoods of Gorno and Dolno Ezerovo.

A day of mourning was declared on October 26 in the municipality of Kameno. Bulgaria’s National Assembly began its Thursday sitting with a moment of silence for the victims of the flooding in the Bourgas district.

Weather forecaster Anastasia Stoycheva told Bulgarian National Television that the rain in Bourgas and its surrounding areas had stopped and the weather would remain calm. Over two days, the rainfall in Bulgaria’s south-west region had reached 200 litres a square metre.

Bourgas mayor Dimitar Nikolov said that damage assessments were continuing. Flood victims could receive 325 leva in aid. Separately, damage to buildings was being assessed and there was a large list of domestic appliances that had been destroyed, he said.

Kindergartens and schools in Bourgas would remain closed on October 26, Nikolov said.

He said that the main influx of water was at the mouth of the Chakrliyska River.

Prosecutors were investigating, he said, but insisted that all the requirements regarding securing of the dams had been met. The landfill was being restored, a process that would be completed in two days, according to Nikolov.

Regional Development Minister Nikolai Nankov said that the causes of the disaster in the Bourgas area were being investigated.

The situation on national roads was normal and third-class roads would be repaired, Nankov said. He ruled out the possibility of environmental disaster because of leakage of solid household waste from the landfill and the flooding of the wastewater treatment plant in the region.

“We have a reserve of two million leva. We will provide funding for the affected villages,” he said.

Amid the flood crisis on October 25, the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party politicised the matter by accusing the government of mismanagement.

In turn, the parliamentary leader of Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s GERB party, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, blamed meterologists for not giving a sufficiently severe warning. Forecasters had issued a code yellow warning but this should have been a code red warning, Tsvetanov said.

Amid disputes about whether riverbeds had been cleared adequately, Tsvetanov said that residents of the affected areas had said that the bed of the river running through their village had been cleared twice this year.

(Photos: Bulgarian Interior Ministry press centre)



The Sofia Globe staff

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