16.3 C
September 30, 2022

Four killed by cold, extreme low temperatures warning upgraded

The lowest temperatures will range between -27 and -17 degrees.

By     Daniela Baragan

Meteorologists replaced on Monday the yellow warning code issued on Saturday for most regions with an orange code, in force as of yesterday until February 3. According to the National Meteorology Administration (ANM)’s website, during this interval the freezing cold will persist in Moldavia, Wallachia, Oltenia, Transylvania and Maramures, especially at night and in the morning. The lowest temperatures will range between -27.C and -17.C, while the highest daytime temperatures remain below zero. “In Dobrogea, the Baragan and Southern Moldavia, wind speed may reach 40 to 50 km/h, enhancing the freezing cold,” the same source argues. The freeze watch remains in place in Crisana and the Banat, where temperatures will drop to -10.

Shortly after the warning was issued, the Health Ministry (MS) announced by a press release that the number of deaths caused by severe hypothermia rose to six, after four other victims were reported in the past 24 hours in counties Tulcea, Botosani, Neamt and Olt. The number of the homeless people transported by the ambulance services and SMURD teams to medical units and care centres is also on the rise: 241 at national level, MS sources report.

According to the Bucharest-Ilfov Ambulance Service, quoted by the Bucharest Mayor’s Office, Saturday, the day the freeze watch came into force, to Sunday evening, the ambulance services received 452 calls requesting emergency medical assistance. Out of these, 286 were rated as urgent, requesting assistance for 89 homeless individuals, seven of whom needed medical care and were subsequently transferred to the General Direction for Social Assistance (DGASMB)’s shelters. At the same time, the ambulance teams were faced with ten cases of fractures and sprained ankles, four cases of people falling in the street and four cases of trauma.

The low temperatures of the past 24 hours led to classes being suspended in a number of twenty schools across the country. Thus, classes were suspended in two schools in Arges County and the primary school in Corlata, Suceava County, and the children were sent back home, because of the freezing cold. On Sunday evening, the state secretary for pre-university education, Oana Badea, stated that the main priority for the Education Ministry was, in this kind of weather, the pupils’ health and safety, rather than school attendance. “The Education Ministry wishes to remind parents and teachers alike the recommendations issued by specialists within the Health Ministry, who warn against children being exposed to the cold in this kind of weather. To this purpose, the county boards of education will take all necessary measures during the freeze watch interval to ensure that pupils and teachers would not be affected by the low temperatures,” Badea stated, quoted by Mediafax.

Pile-up on Sun Motorway

Ten vehicles collided Monday in a huge pile-up on the Sun Motorway, going from Cernavoda to Bucharest, because of the snow and ice that covered the road. Fortunately, nobody was seriously injured in the incident. According to the Infotrafic Center, the damaged vehicles were immediately pushed aside on the emergency lane, so traffic on the motorway did not stop.

Tens of thousands left without running water in Galati

About 60-70 pc of the 300,000 inhabitants of the town of Galati were cut from both drinking and hot water Monday, as the extreme cold prevented local utility providers from pumping water from the Danube. Navrom Galati sent a tugboat to break the ice around the water intakes, and authorities might even send divers to remove any obstacle that is clogging intakes and pipes.

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