Varna, February 8 2012
Bulgaria recorded new record-low temperatures in nine places on February 9 2012, with parts of the country facing a "Code Orange" dangerous weather warning and the rest facing the lesser "Code Yellow".
The latest severe weather conditions followed Force 10 gale conditions that brought a costly swathe of destruction along the Black Sea coast, flooding seaside hotels and restaurants, beaching fishing boats and yachts and scouring away beach sand.
On February 9, Vidin in northern Bulgaria recorded a morning temperature of minus 28.6 degrees Celsius, beating the previous record – set in 2005 – of minus 24.2 degrees.
The other record-low temperatures, according to a report by news agency Focus, included Knizha (minus 28 degrees), Montana (minus 24.6 degrees), Novo Selo (minus 23.7 degrees), Vratsa (minus 21.6 degrees), Pleven (minus 20.4 degrees), Razgrad (minus 18.6 degrees), Silistra (minus 17.3 degrees) and the peak of Rozhen in the Rhodope Mountains (minus 17.2 degrees).
The Vidin – Calafat ferryboat across the Danube was not operating because the river was iced over.
Navigation on the Bulgarian section of the Danube was suspended on February 8 because most of the river was frozen over. At Rousse, ice cover was reported to be 90 per cent.
Three people froze to death in Pernik, the industrial town west of Sofia, Bulgarian news agency BTA said.
"Code Orange" was in force on February 9 in Vidin, Montana, Vratsa, Pleven, Lovech, Gabrovo, Veliko Turnovo, Rousse, Turgovishte, Razgrad, Silistra and Shoumen.
At the seaside town of Pomorie, a state of emergency was in force after the damage caused by high seas on February 8.
Bulgarian National Television (BNT) reported that the fishing port at Byala had been damaged severely while at the Black Sea city of Varna, a third of the beach sand had been washed away.
Apart from assistance offered by other European Union countries and foreign governments to communities hard-hit by flooding earlier this week, private individuals have been sending money following two separate public appeals.
A fund-raising campaign by the Bulgarian Red Cross had by the end of February 8 raised more than 93 000 leva (about 46 500 euro) while a campaign by public broadcaster BNT had raised close to 55 000 leva.
Because of the harsh winter weather conditions and, in some cases, flu outbreaks, all schools in Bulgaria are closed from February 8 to 10 inclusive.