Hundreds of Bulgarian Villages Left Paralyzed by Snow, but Conditions Improving

Environment | March 12, 2015, Thursday // 12:02|  views

Photo by BGNES

The situation following days of heavy snowfall across Bulgaria is improving, though river levels remain high, the country's Environment Minister Ivelina Vasileva has said.

After the snow left hundreds of villages across Bulgaria blocked and without electricity supply, all institutions are ready to act in case of a new emergency situation, Vasileva told private national NOVA TV channel.

"Climate is changing and we have to be prepared for possible consequences," Vasileva noted. She added there was no risk of floods despite high river levels in the south of Bulgaria, where towns and villages on both banks of the Arda, Tundzha and Maritsa rivers have been on high alert.

But in many southern locations, in the Smolyan region, electricity supply is unlikely to be renewed before late next week. EVN is the power distributor operating there, and workers are seeking to repair the damages that the heavy snow caused to the power grid. As many as 120 employees have been sent across the most affected regions to help clean up major roads and minor ones leading into the blocked villages. 

For some of the four hundred towns and villages, Thursday is the sixth day since they the snowfall sealed them off from the rest of the world. In many of them, locals are finding it either impossible or very difficult to use their mobile phones.

On Thursday, the opposition blamed Deputy PM Meglena Kuneva and Minister Vasileva during a Parliament hearing for failing to adopt the necessary measures to avoid the present developments.

Kuneva, however, explained such harsh weather conditions had not been observed in March, as spring is supposedly coming, in the last fifty years.

Severe weather has recently claimed two lives, just a day after an avalanche killed three snowboarders who had tried to slide outside marked ski runs in the Pirin mountain despite warnings. 


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Tags: EVN, Maritsa, Tundzha, Arda, Ivelina Vasileva, snow, snowfall


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