Landslides, flooded houses as harsh winter weather hits Bulgaria

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov held an emergency meeting on January 12 with members of the Cabinet and the mayor of Sofia as parts of the country reeled under the impact of harsh winter weather, with landslides and swollen rivers in several places.

The officials told Borissov that the situation in the country was normalising, while he warned that more bad weather was on the way at the end of the week.

“As soon as possible, the Disaster and Accident Fund should provide assistance when the mayors are ready. On Friday, winter is coming in full force, so be very careful,” Borissov was quoted as saying.

Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandukova told a briefing that there were flooded houses in the area of Novi Iskar.

Firefighters had worked overnight to shore up river banks, she said.

Bulgarian National Radio reported that landslides had trapped 11 people in Smolyan, and continuing heavy rain was complicating the situation in the town and the region.

There were several landslides in Madan and Nedelino.

A partial state of emergency has been declared in the town of Batanovtsi and the villages of Yardzhilovtsi and Montenegro.

More than 25 people from the Andreyna and Kadranovi neighborhoods in Batanovtsi were evacuated.

The partial state of emergency, announced last night in the municipality of Strumyani, remains in force.

The dikes on both sides of the Struma River in front of the village are seriously compromised and the waters are at dangerously high levels.

An active landslide flooded the Bansko-Gotse Delchev road with mud and stones near the village of Gospodintsi.

The waters of the Mesta River also broke a dike in the area.

The movement of trains on the Septemvri-Dobrinishte narrow-gauge railway line has been suspended because rocks fell on the rails in the area of ​​Cherna Mesta.

Residents of 20 houses in the Chernitsite villa zone near Bourgas were told to leave their homes early this morning. This was ordered by mayor Dimitar Nikolov because of the critical rise of the level of the river Marinka.

Bulgaria’s Road Infrastructure Agency said on January 12 said given the expected drop in temperatures and the forecast that rain will turn to snow, motorists should embark on journeys only if their cars are prepared for winter conditions, should drive carefully, at reasonable speeds and not overtake recklessly.

Photo: Road Infrastructure Agency

The agency said that it was possible that sections of roads would be closed for treatment with chemicals and other substances.

All road maintenance companies’ machines had been fully mobilised for snow clearing on the national roads, the agency said.

(Main photo: Bourgas municipality)

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