Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry has stepped up security ahead of the December 23 to 27 Christmas holidays.
Armed police were deployed to key points such as shopping malls and railway stations ahead of the holidays, while the firefighting and civil defence directorate has inspected more than 1700 sites such as churches, hotels and amusement parks, an Interior Ministry statement quoted the directorate’s Yoto Vassilev as saying.
Shortcomings were found at 136 of them and 19 fines were issued, the statement said.
The Border Police’s Commissioner Rumyana Borissova said that additional measures had been taken given the expected intense traffic at border points.
Difficulties were most likely at the Kalotina border checkpoint because of repairs.
Borissova reminded people travelling to prepare their personal documents and check their validity before embarking on travel.
Regarding children traveling with one parent or an accompanying adult, they must have the necessary declarations authorising this, she said.
Chief Inspector Ivan Ignatov said that checks were underway to prevent illegal trade in fireworks. He issued a reminder that it is against the law to sell fireworks to children.
Chief Inspector Luchezar Bliznakov of the Road Police said that the heaviest traffic was expected on December 22, the last working day before Christmas. More than 900 teams would be on the road to control and assist traffic, Bliznakov said.
There would be increase checks on compliance with speed limits, as well to prevent motorists driving after consuming alcohol or illegal narcotics, he said.
Inspector Rossen Belishki said that from January to November this year, there had been about 3000 burglaries of homes, about 1000 fewer than last year. He urged people to secure their homes before travelling.
Bulgaria’s weather bureau has issued weather warnings for several districts for December 23 because of forecast strong winds.
The Code Orange warning of hazardous weather has been issued for Saturday for the districts of Dobrich, Varna, Shoumen, Silistra, Razgrad, Rousse, Turgovishte, Sliven, Veliko Turnovo, Pleven, Vratsa and Montana.
The lesser Code Yellow warning of potentially hazardous weather has been issued for all other districts of Bulgaria for December 23, also because of forecast strong winds.
At the start of the weekend, in places – mainly northern Bulgaria – there will be rain, and in north-eastern regions and the pre-Balkans, rain and snow.
On Sunday, the wind will weaken slightly and the likelihood of precipitation is low, according to weather forecasters.
December 25 will be mostly sunny and the wind will weaken further and maximum temperatures will vary between 13 and 18 degrees Celsius. The ensuing three days, from Tuesday to Thursday, will be dry, with temperatures higher than usual for December.
Thursday will be cloudy and foggy and temperatures will begin to slowly and gently drop, the weather bureau said.
Bulgarian National Radio reported that on December 22 and 23, extra buses were being provided from Sofia to destinations for which there was the greatest demand, including Pleven, Rousse, Tryavna, Veliko Turnovo and Stara Zagora.
(Photo: Kris de Curtis, via Wikimedia Commons)
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