Deluge on Bulgarian coast, 1,000 Romanian tourists affected

The Romanian government has sent trailers for the evacuation of 29 Romanian tourists and of eight vehicles.

Heavy rains have wreaked havoc in southern regions of Romania and in Bulgaria over the weekend. Hydrologists had given the first signal on Friday, issuing a red code flood alert for several rivers located in Constanta County. Several homes have been flooded and almost ten kilometers of roads have been affected by the torrential rain registered in the last 12 hours in Constanta County, in some areas the quantity of rainfall surpassing 90 liters per square meter.
On the Bulgarian coast things were much worse, with at least ten people losing their lives in the unprecedented floods registered in the Black Sea port of Varna, two children being among the dead. In the Albena resort 1,000 Romanians were stranded as a result of the flooding and landslides, but fortunately there were no victims among them. Apart from the discomfort caused by the bad weather, the Romanian tourists accused Bulgarian authorities of not helping them leave home, complaining that the only tourists evacuated from the badly damaged resort were Russian and German citizens, while the Romanians had to help themselves.
On the night of Saturday to Sunday a Romanian Interior Ministry bus brought back to Romania 29 Romanian tourists and eight vehicles. According to the Romanian government, the data communicated by the representatives of the diplomatic mission show that a part of the Romanian tourists chose to continue their holiday in the resort after things returned to normal.
The Romanian Government, with the direct involvement of the Department for Emergency Interventions coordinated by Raed Arafat, has set up a working group for the urgent management of the situation of Romanian nationals stranded in Bulgaria’s Albena resort because of the floods that hit Bulgaria over the past days. SMEs, Business Sector and Tourism Minister Florin Jianu will be immediately dispatched on site to assess the situation and take the first decisions. The working group will keep in touch with the Bulgarian authorities, keep a team on site, get in touch with the Romanians in distress and do its best for their safe repatriation,’ the Government reported in a press release issued on Saturday.
According to Tourism Minister Florin Jianu, 200 Romanian tourists were evacuated on Saturday from the hotels located in Albena resort and were housed in other hotels. Six hotels were seriously damaged by flood waters in the Albena resort. Witnesses say that the floods occurred after the heavy rains registered on the night of Thursday to Friday. Torrents of water and silt came down from a forest and a river in the area, destroying the tourists’ cars, as well as the hotel restaurants located at ground level. A hotel building was torn in half.
Bucharest went through a yellow code storm warning on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon too, the Unirii underpass being flooded and traffic being detoured in the area. Lanariei Street and Serban Voda Street were flooded; traffic lights stopped working at the intersection of Dorobanti Street and Stefan cel Mare Boulevard.
Several sections of National Road 1, between Ploiesti and Brasov, were also flooded on Saturday afternoon as a result of heavy rains. Traffic was detoured in the Nistoresti area, auto vehicles being directed through Breaza.

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