South hit by new snowfalls & blizzards as of today

Thousands of people in tens of villages are still isolated after the heavy snowfalls over the weekend.

A new Code Orange alert of snowfalls and blizzard has been issued for Bucharest and 14 counties in Muntenia (south), southern Moldavia (southeast), and Dobrogea (southeast), starting  today at 6 a.m., according to the National Meteorological Administration. Until Wednesday night at 11 p.m., blizzard will be intense in most of Muntenia, southern Moldavia, and Dobrogea, with wind gusts temporarily exceeding 60-70 kmph, and in Buzau, Braila, Ialomita, Calarasi (south), Vrancea, Galati, Constanta, and Tulcea (southeast) counties even more than 70-80 kmph.
As a result, the snow will form banks and visibility will be less than 50 meters. The counties where Code Orange has been issued are Prahova, Dambovita, the southern half of Arges, Teleorman, Giurgiu, Ilfov, Buzau, Braila, Ialomita, Calarasi (south), and Vrancea, Galati, Constanta and Tulcea (southeast), and Bucharest.
Meteorologists also issued a Code Yellow warning of snowfalls and blizzard for Oltenia (southwest) and the north-eastern part of Muntenia, and central Moldavia regions. On Thursday and Friday, freezing cold is expected in the eastern, southern, and central regions, especially in the morning and overnight.
On the other hand, the authorities are still fighting with the new-fallen snow. Road traffic on the motorway A2 Bucharest – Lehliu (south-east, towards the seaside) was opened yesterday for all types of vehicles, the National Romanian Motorways and Highways Company (CNANDR) informs.  Traffic was also approved on Bucharest – Ploiesti (north of Bucharest) A3 motorway, for all types of vehicles.
Meanwhile, 300 militaries, gendarmes and workers with the Emergency Situations Inspectorate (ISU) are carrying out operations in over 20 localities of the Buzau county (north-east of Bucharest, southern Moldova) to clear the snow from access roads and from the yards of the sick and the elderly. Three localities with about 300 homes are still with no power following the crash of medium-voltage utility poles.
In Buzau, National Road 22 from Ramnicu Sarat to Braila remained closed yesterday and traffic was restricted on two additional national roads in the county. Twenty county roads are still blocked due to snow and inhabitants from fifteen villages are still isolated. The prefect of Buzau had a bizarre reaction yesterday, when he stated that five other localities in the county were isolated and reporters asked him to name them specifically, to which he replied, “I don’t have a list of names, I don’t know what they are. I have no time for phone calls.”
Twenty villages in Braila County with approximately 4,000 households are still isolated and thirteen county roads are blocked. A large number of firefighting crews, gendarmes, and law enforcement officers were mobilized yesterday to clear snow at elderly households in Tichilesti, Cazasu, Viziru, and Faurei localities. In Vrancea, two national roads and eight county roads were closed yesterday, and the inhabitants of eight villages were snowed in.
Yesterday, during a visit in Buzau with Mircea Dusa, Minister of Defence, Deputy Prime Minister Liviu Dragnea stated all that is humanly possible must be done to reach inhabitants in the villages that have been affected by the blizzard, and reduce the number of snowed-in localities to zero, because “a second wave of snowfalls and blizzard” is due to occur. “Given current conditions, the results are good. Compared to the 57 isolated localities on Monday, there were only 4 localities and 7, 8, or 10 villages isolated early Tuesday. We hope the number will be zero by tomorrow morning (editor’s note – Wednesday), because a second wave of snowfalls and blizzard is due to occur and it will bear a similarly strong impact. (…) A Code Orange alert will be issued early Wednesday in the counties affected by the first wave, and at noon, the blizzard will intensify to a great extent. Meteorologists cannot say whether it will be Code Red, but it will be very close,” Dragnea said, cited by Mediafax. In turn, Mircea Dusa, Minister of Defense, stated additional Army forces will be deployed to areas affected by snowfalls and blizzard.
Schools and universities remain closed today
Considering the weather forecast, the Minister of Education has announced all educational institutions in the counties under Code Orange alert of blizzard will remain closed today, and the status of schools under Code Yellow will be announced for each individual institution. Classes and exams scheduled for today and the following day at the University of Bucharest have been suspended, but are to be rescheduled.
High risk of avalanche in Fagarasi Mountains
The risk of avalanches in Lake Balea area, at more than 1,800 m altitude on the northern side of Fagarasi Mountains (northwest of Bucharest) yesterday advanced to level four on a scale of one to five, meteorologists warn. In the Lake Balea tourist area, the snow layer has reached 1.5 meters, and the risk of avalanches is considered ‘high’ by meteorologists. Half a meter of snow has fallen during the last three days in the Lake Balea tourist area, where an ice hotel and three mountain chalets are located. This fresh layer of snow ‘with low resistance lays above the older layer, made up mostly of facet crystals, separated by thin layers of ice. (…) Due to the large amounts of light, non-cohesive snow on top, there is a risk of dislocation on sufficiently steep slopes, starting spontaneous avalanches,’ according to the official website of the National Meteorological Administration.
Forecaster warns over extreme weather
Elena Mateescu, Executive Manager of the National Meteorology Administration, stated on Realitatea TV that the weather phenomena will increase in violence in the years to come due to global warming. “These phenomena will become more violent as a result of global warming. This alternation will be more pronounced. The larger the difference between hot and cold weather fronts, the more violent the phenomena,” Mateescu said, referring to the blizzard Romania is now facing.

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