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Heavy Snowfall Causes Chaos across Country, Smolyan, Kurdzhali Regions Declare State of Emergency

Heavy Snowfall
Causes Chaos across Country,
Smolyan, Kurdzhali Regions Declare State of Emergency


Sofia, March 7 (BTA) - A state of emergency has been declared in
the regions of Smolyan and Kurdzhali due to heavy snowfall,
fallen
trees and power supply cuts. The heavy snowfall for nearly 24
hours has
deteriorated the situation in the entire country and the Rhodope
region in particular.

Power supply to dozens of settlements in the Smolyan Region has
been cut due to grid failures because of the heavy snow. Nearly
all municipalities in the region are suffering power supply
disruptions. The towns of Smolyan, Madan, Borino and Devin are
without electricity.
The Defence Ministry said that military personnel is clearing
roads in Smolyan Region. The largest amount of precipitation, at
92 l/sq m, over the last 24 hours has been reported in
Zlatograd. The office of the Bulgarian Red Cross in Smolyan has
been providing food and hot beverages to volunteers who take
part in road
clearing and rescue operations, said Smolyan Deputy Regional
Governor Adrian Petrov. Rescue teams are transporting patients
from the villages to the regional hospital for dialysis
treatments.

Regional Governor Iliya Iliev has declared a state of emergency
in Kurdzhali Region
until the situation eases. The snow cover measures 0.8 m in
places. Over 300 settlements in Kurdzhali Region have been left
without electricity.

Iliev has ordered a regional disaster response plan to be put in
place. He said
that only national roads in the region are open to traffic. The
police in Kurdzhali said that 60 distress calls have been placed
in less than 24 hours, but there are no stranded motorists.

Firefighters, rescuers and police officers have been involved in
the efforts to
respond to over 200 accident calls. By 2 pm on Saturday the
situation in Smolyan, Kurdzhali, Haskovo, Pazardzhik and Plovdiv
was worst. The firefighting services in Smolyan, Kurdzhali,
Haskovo, Pazardzhik and Plovdiv have put in place emergency
action plans.

Over the night the Tundzha River at Elhovo rose by over 10 cm,
reaching up to 350 cm in places, which is far below the critical
mark if 395 cm.

Settlements in the regions of Sliven, Haskovo, Plovdiv, Lovech,
Gabrovo, Veliko Turnovo, Turgovishte, Pernik, Vratsa and Montana

have suffered power outages.

In some stretches across the country train services have been
suspended.

***
The vessels of the Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2)
could not anchor in Varna Port due to the bad weather. A news
conference due to be held on the flagman USS Vicksburg has been
postponed. The Bulgarian Navy said that if possible the news
conference will take place on Sunday. PK//ПК/


//

Source: Sofia