A new cold wave, accompanied by heavy snowfalls and blizzards, hits south-eastern Romania.
snowfalls, closed roads, restricted traffic and one county, Braila, completely
isolated from the rest of the country for one night - this would be a brief
description of the situation in the south-east of the country, currently under
code orange and yellow warnings for bad weather. National and county roads,
including the motorway linking the capital to Constanta County have been
blocked or closed by the authorities, because of the strong blizzard. Constanta
County is now practically isolated, as most of its roads have been closed. The
code orange alert has also led to the closing of the Romanian ports on the
Black Sea. Hundreds of cars have remained stranded in the snow, and several
trucks have drifted and blocked traffic in the county.
The capital city
too has been seriously affected. All streets have been covered in snow and
public transportation has been hampered, although the Bucharest General Mayor
Gabriela Firea has given assurances that the capital is not blocked. She has
stated that priority is given to the unblocking of the areas where there are
schools, hospitals and public institutions. The mayor has also decided that
schools and kindergartens remain closed the entire week to protect children
from snow and cold.
Because of the extreme
weather lately, some one hundred train journeys were cancelled on Wednesday
morning alone. The National Railway Company announced on Wednesday morning that
snow removal equipment was being used along the Bucharest, Craiova, Galati and
Constanta routes to clear the tracks and thus maintain the connection between
the main cities. Traffic through Vama Veche border-crossing point was also
closed last night, as the Bulgarians did not allow any vehicle coming from
Romania to cross the border. Air travel has been disrupted as well, with dozens
of flights, both domestic and international, being delayed.
As regards medical
emergency, ambulances responded to the calls made on Tuesday night accompanied
by caterpillars, especially in the areas where access was particularly
difficult. From Tuesday morning until Wednesday morning, ambulance and
paramedic services responded to approximately ten thousand medical emergencies.
According to the Emergency Department, during the same interval, some 250
pregnant women and 150 dialysis patients were evacuated. Also, 200 homeless
people were taken to day and night shelters. In the coming days, weather
forecasts bring partially good news.
It will still be
extremely cold until Thursday morning, all across the country, with lows
reaching minus 17 degrees Centigrade. Then, temperatures will start to go up,
but will bring along frozen rain, which will increase the risk of glaze
covering the roads.