After a weekend with snow and blizzard, Romania is now faced with a cold spell.
After spring-like temperatures in January, a cold wave
has engulfed most of the country, which weather forecasts say will last a few
days. The weather will be cold in all regions, with highs mostly below zero
degrees Celsius, frosty temperatures especially in the intra-Carpathian areas
and winds. Meteorologist Mihai Huştiu gives us more details:
"The whole week, the highest temperatures will range
from minus 5 to zero degrees Celsius, only possibly higher in the southern
hills. The lows will be below zero, between minus 14 and minus 4 degrees,
dipping to minus 18 and minus 20 in some areas. In the south-east of the
country, the wind will make it feel even colder. We're also expecting cold
weather in the capital city, with highs of 1 or 2 degrees Celsius and lows
between minus 8 and minus 5."
The cold wave has already come, with the coldest night
this year seeing temperatures drop to minus 22 degrees Celsius in the
mountains, while wind speeds reached as much as 110 km/hour. The cold comes
after a weekend with a number of yellow and amber code alerts for bad weather.
Heavy snowfalls were reported in the mountains and blizzards in other areas,
especially on the coast, in the west, and in the east. A number of roads and
all ports were closed, and air travel was partly disrupted, while avalanche
alerts were in place in the mountains.
Two big avalanches were reported on Saturday night in
the Făgăraș mountains at heights of over 2,000 m. One hit a hotel where there
were tens of guests, covering the cars in the parking lot, but no one was hurt.
The layer of snow exceeded 2 metres in the Lake Bâlea area, where an avalanche
was also reported. Romania's mountain rescue service received what they
described as a "worrying" number of emergency calls at the weekend, rescuing
hundreds of people, of whom a few dozens needed medical care.
The General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations said
it carried out actions in tens of counties and the capital Bucharest to deal
with the effects of snowfalls, blizzards and strong wind. Some areas faced
problems with their electricity supply. The fire fighting service helped free a
number of cars stuck in snow and remove dozens of trees and electricity poles
fallen by the storm. Many cars were also damaged. Travel on many national and
county roads was disrupted because of the snow. According to the Inspectorate
for Emergency Situations, travel is still difficult in many counties, and
motorists are advised to equip their vehicles appropriately before their trip. (CM)