Heavy snowfalls and difficult road conditions have led to almost half of the schools in Bulgaria being closed, according to Ministry of Education figures on March 1 2018.
The largest numbers of schools closed were in Bulgaria’s Black Sea cities of Varna, 122, and Bourgas, 139. In all, 1219 schools in Bulgaria were closed, out of a total of 2450.
Only in the city of Sofia and in Gabrovo were all schools open.
The early morning of March 1 saw temperatures plummet to what were described as records for this day of the year: in Sofia and Dragoman, the mercury fell to minus 18 degrees Celsius. In Stara Zagora, the sunrise temperature was minus 22 degrees, in Knezha minus 21 degrees, in Kyustendil, Kazanluk and Chirpan, minus 19 degrees.
On March 1, the entire country was subject to the “Code Yellow” warning of potentially dangerous weather because low temperatures.
For March 2, the same warning was in place, for the same reason, except in the districts of Bourgas, Yambol, Kurdzhali, Smolyan, and Blagoevgrad, which were given a “Code Green” status.
Overnight between February 28 and March 1, a technical fault halted the Sofia – Bourgas train in the Aitos region, leaving passengers in the dark and cold for several hours. Passengers, who said that they measured temperatures in the stranded train well below zero, told local media that they were considering court action against state railways BDZ.
In the early afternoon of March 1, the Road Infrastructure Agency said that all motorways in Bulgaria were open, but cautioned that on the Bourgas – Karnobat section of Trakiya Motorway, the speed limit was temporarily reduced to 90 km/h because of huge amounts of snow piled up in the emergency lane.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)