Bulgaria’s Rousse hard-hit by storm

A powerful storm in Bulgaria’s Danube River city of Rousse on June 6 resulted in extensive damage, with trees blown down, power lines severed, traffic and public transport disrupted and crops in the region damaged.

There was no information about injuries, Bulgarian National Television said.

Seventeen litres of rain per square metre fell during the storm and there was 10 minutes of hail, the report said.

Public transport was paralysed as streets were transformed into muddy rivers. Of the damaged cars, only the roofs were visible, according to the report.

Members of the public organised a voluntary clean-up of damaged areas, due to start on the afternoon of June 6.

The storm blew off the temporary roof covering of the Rousse State Opera building, which is undergoing renovations.

“We did not expect such a downpour,” Plamen Beikov, director of the Rousse State Opera, said. “We are expecting a crane in two to three days and we are continuing with the repairs.”

Trains to Sofia and Varna were delayed because of fallen trees on the railway lines.

Rousse municipality said in a statement that more than 300 employees were involved in clean-up operations.

It said that by noon, it had received 266 reports of damage from the public.

More than 30 trees and branches that had been blocking vehicle and pedestrian traffic had been removed.

Employees were repairing or dismantling dangerous billboards.

Work was underway to repair damage to the catenary network of the city’s trolleybuses. Electric buses had been provided to transport passengers on the lines, the municipality said.

(Photo: Rousse municipality)

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