The National Meteorology Administration (ANM) extended a Code Orange alert for blizzard for south-eastcounties.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta announced, yesterday, at the Winter Task Force meeting at Victoria Palace, that a state of alert has been declared in the eastern counties of Buzau, Braila and Vrancea starting 12 p.m. The request came from the National Committee for Emergencies.
The snow-clearing and rescue operations for the communities cut off by the snow in the three counties will be made under a single command from the Government level, Ponta explained. According to the Government’s urgent act, a state of alert enables the authorities to take any measures required to prevent and remove the dangers entailed by an urgent situation.
According to Ponta, money for the intervention equipment and Diesel fuel necessary to clear snow from roads in the counties where an alert state has been issued will be ensured by the state reserve and army. At the same time, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Monday morning ordered the Air and Naval Forces to prepare aircraft and crews to intervene in the affected areas, to take off to the places affected by snow, to grant support to the persons encountering difficulties. A Code Red alert of bad weather was issued for Buzau, Braila, and Vrancea counties on Sunday, from 3.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m., which subsequently changed to Code Orange until yesterday morning.
Also yesterday, the National Meteorology Administration (ANM) extended a Code Orange alert for blizzard for the counties in south-eastern Romania: Vrancea, Galati, Buzau, Braila, Tulcea, Constanta, Calarasi and Ialomita. According to the advisory, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., in these areas the wind speed will temporarily exceed 60 – 70 kmph, drifting the snow and keeping visibility low. At the same time, eastern Muntenia, Dobrogea and the biggest part of Moldova remain under a Code Yellow alert of blizzard till 11 p.m.. Here the wind will be gusting to 50 kmph, temporarily swirling up the snow. The counties under Code Yellow warning are Iasi, Bacau and Vaslui.
ANM representatives have more bad news in store. Although wind intensity started decreasing yesterday, the weather is bound to become worse again in south Romania as of tomorrow morning. Meteorologists are considering issuing a new strong wind alert for this area, which will take effect tomorrow morning and end Thursday at noon. Romania will experience a “break” from bad weather from Thursday until February 3 or 4, Ion Sandu, Director of ANM, stated, as cited by Mediafax.
Road and railway traffic still difficult
Around 60 motortrucks and 80 cars have been stuck for almost 48 hours on DN 2, at the entry point into Buzau County from Bucharest on the Buzau beltway, as well as in Ramnicu Sarat. Roads have been closed due to blizzard and snow since Saturday. Sunday night, authorities in Buzau offered drivers food necessities and 10 liters of fuel each.
Nonetheless, Infotrafic Center has announced that traffic on three national roads – DN31 Manastirea to Calarasi (Calarasi County), DN22A, and DN21 Calarasi to Braila – has been resumed. Likewise, as of 12.20 p.m., traffic on DN22A, Urziceni – Slobozia stretch, has been resumed. Traffic on these roads is encumbered and vehicles weighing over 7.5 tons have restricted access.
Railway traffic is also encumbered, as two railways are closed, 13 have restricted traffic, and 81 trains were cancelled due to bad weather, according to CFR Calatori. Furthermore, a train travelling from Bucharest North to Vatra Dornei was 100 minutes late, while another train travelling from Unghieni to Bucharest North arrived 90 minutes late. One train that was travelling from Bucharest to Targoviste with 80 passengers on board was stuck near Nucet locality (Dambovita County) early yesterday, after the plough in charge of clearing snow for the train locomotive malfunctioned. Passengers were eventually transported to their destination by two buses.
Around 700 emergency calls and 387 confirmed emergencies
The Bucharest-Ilfov Emergency Service received around 700 calls in the last 16 hours, 387 of which were confirmed emergencies, including 25 cases of fractures and sprains. Dr. Alis Grasu, Manager of the Bucharest-Ilfov Emergency Service, stated nine faintness cases were reported in public spaces and seven calls were made regarding persons who had collapsed in the street. 22 persons were taken to shelters by ambulance.
MEN: Schools in Bucharest and 14 other counties still closed
Schools in Bucharest and Ilfov, Arges, Calarasi, Constanta, Galati, Ialomita, Iasi, Mehedinti, Prahova, Tulcea, Valcea, Vrancea, Buzau, and Giurgiu counties will remain closed today, according to a report issued by the Ministry of Education for school inspectorates. However, kindergartens will be opened in some counties – Buzau and Giurgiu – to help parents, although schools are still closed. In Braila, schools located in the county capital will be open.