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September 18, 2019

Romania buried under snow. Roads blocked, schools closed

Snowfalls caused traffic problems. Bucharest was covered in snow too. Traffic restrictions have been enforced on several roads in the country because of the weather. Several inbound and outbound flights registered delays of approximately one hour on the Otopeni Airport. Trains registered delays of up to 100 minutes too.

Snowfalls continue to create all kinds of problems. A truck carrying approximately 300 gas cylinders overturned in Galati after skidding on silver thaw. A lorry overturned in Cluj too and the driver was hospitalized. Two other lorries blocked traffic in Buzau after they were no longer able to cross a bridge because of the layer of silver thaw. A severe car crash took place in Brasov County, leaving six persons injured. The car they were in skidded because of the snow on the road and violently slammed into another vehicle. One of the victims is a local police officer who is in critical condition. A severe accident took place in Suceava too, a car skidding on silver thaw and overturning, leaving the driver in a critical condition. Vehicles heavier than 7 tons were not allowed on the Bucharest – Pitesti highway. The traffic restriction was enforced because of the weather, after several trucks skidded and slammed into the guardrails. Traffic restrictions for high-tonnage vehicles were enforced on the road that links Lugoj and Deva too. Bucharest registered continuous snowfalls since Tuesday afternoon so a significant layer of snow has formed. Approximately 320 snow clearing vehicles were used on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday in order to clear the city’s main streets and boulevards. The vehicles were also used to clear the streets leading to schools, hospitals and other public institutions. Bucharest Mayor Sorin Oprescu convened the City Hall’s winter cell. CFR Passengers announced that no trains were stranded and no railway lines were closed, however passengers that used the railways in southern, southeastern and southwestern regions had some problems, the trains registering delays of up to 100 minutes given the fact that railway traffic was switched to winter conditions. At the same time, several inbound and outbound flights registered delays of approximately one hour on the Otopeni Airport yesterday because of de-icing operations. No flight was canceled. The airport in Iasi was closed because of the hard wind.The problem of children unable to reach schools because roads are covered in snow continues. Yesterday classes were suspended in 111 kindergartens and schools in 9 counties, the decision affecting 31,341 kindergarten and school children, the Ministry of Education informs. Kindergarten and school children in Prahova and Braila were unable to attend classes because of blackouts. Problems were registered in Suceava and Timis too, the layer of snow measuring over half a meter making it impossible for children to go to school. At the same time, eight schools suspended their classes in Dolj County yesterday, affecting 550 children. Over 7,000 households are without electricity for three days now in ten isolated localities in the northern part of the Prahova County, while several schools suspended their classes there, thus affecting over 1,500 children. Yesterday meteorologists issued a now-casting watch alert for high wind speeds in Dolj, Olt, Mehedinti, Suceava, Botosani, Iasi and Vaslui counties. A watch alert for snowfalls had been issued for Suceava, Botosani, Iasi and Vaslui counties. Another problem is the fact that traffic was rendered difficult on some roads in the country. Roads were not closed but traffic was difficult on the following roads: National Road (DN) 2A, Andrasesti – Misleanu; DN59 Moravita; DN59A Jimbolia; DN66A Cerna; DN67D Baia de Arama – Baile Herculane; DN7A Brezoi – Voineasa. Likewise, traffic for vehicles heavier than 7.5 tons has been restricted on DN68A Lugoj – Sacamas. Snowfalls caused other incidents too: an ambulance with a patient onboard was snowed-in on a county road in Vaslui. A snow clearing vehicle was dispatched to the site. Likewise, 9 persons – tourists and forestry workers – were stranded in the mountainous region of Valcea County where the layer of snow surpasses two meters in height. Five of the persons were rescued by mountain rescuers.

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