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Romania affected by massive snowfalls, blizzard and extreme cold. ANM: Tuesday, probably the frostiest morning of this winter, there will be -28 Celsius degrees

The National Weather Administration has issued, on Saturday, a Code Yellow warning for extreme cold weather for the entire country in force until Tuesday and have extended the Code Yellow warning for blizzard issued for 22 counties until Sunday evening at 22:00 hrs.

Tuesday morning will probably be the frostiest morning of this winter, being expected a minimum of -28 Celsius degrees, according to the General Director of the National Meteorology Administration (ANM), Elena Mateescu, at the videoconference held at the Ministry of Interior (MAI).

“For the following three days, we will have values that are specific to the frost phenomenon in the whole country, since both the highs during the day and the lows during the night will be particularly lowed, meaning that, while today’s temperatures were -16 to -10 degrees, tomorrow morning we’ll have -21 to -10 degrees, and on Tuesday morning it’s likely to have the frostiest morning of this winter, namely -28 to -11 degrees throughout the country. Besides, there is a Code Yellow meteorological warning for the Eastern half of the country, regions in which the 22 counties under Code Yellow will be affected again by wind gusts that can exceed 70 to 75 km/h. Snowfall will not stop, we’ll have more snowfalls, not in the quantities of the last 24 hours, but snowdrifts will be possible again, circumstances in which, in association with the extremely low temperatures, the attention will be maximum in these regions. Cooling index values are very high, considering the very low temperatures which, associated with wind gusts, create an extremely accentuated thermal discomfort. If on Tuesday we will record thermal values slightly decreasing compared to Monday, it is due to a new cyclone” stated Elena Mateescu, General Manager of the National Meteorology Administration.

Mateescu also stated that during Tuesday to Wednesday night we could have blizzard again in the South, South-East and East of Romania.

 

IGSU: Over 5,300 firemen with 2,848 vehicles conducted over 2,300 missions in past 24 hours

 

Over 5,300 firemen with 2,848 vehicles have acted in the past 24 hours to unblock and save persons trapped by the blizzard on certain road sectors, as well as to pick up persons with medical conditions from hard to access areas, a release of the Emergency Situations General Inspectorate (IGSU) remitted on Sunday to AGERPRES shows.

In the counties affected by blizzard and snowfall, firemen traveled by caterpillar-track vehicles and multiple-patient vehicles, with snow blowers going in front of them, in order to pick up 102 pregnant women and 29 persons in need of dialysis, later transporting them to specialized medical centers, the quoted release shows.

Furthermore, in this period military firemen participated, together with local authorities, in 2,300 patrol and transport missions, following which 324 homeless persons were relocated to emergency care units or other locations of the local authorities.

The firemen also conducted, in extreme weather conditions, the rescue and evacuation of 425 persons from the A2 highway.

Given the situation in the Dobrogea region, in order to optimize operative measures, IGSU ordered the withdrawal of intervention crews from the areas where the weather improved and their deployment in Constanta County where considerable effects are still underway. As such, Constanta County firemen will receive as support four heavy duty snowblowers from Arges, Botosani, Iasi and Olt counties, as well as four caterpillar-track vehicles from Giurgiu, Harghita, Mures and Prahova counties.

At the same time as the missions to remove the effects of inclement weather, in the past 72 hours, at a national level, firemen were requested to intervene in 3,889 emergency situations, of which 353 fires, 3003 first aid and emergency medical care missions, 17 extrication missions, as well as 422 missions to rescue persons from environments hostile to life or other emergency situations, the quoted source adds.

 

National railway operator: 48 trains cancelled on Sunday morning

 

A number of 48 trains were cancelled on Sunday morning in order to facilitate access for intervention crews and equipment and to prevent situations which would pose a risk for travelers, according to information posted online by the passenger arm of the national railway operator SNCFR, CFR Calatori.

“At this moment, traffic has resumed on all rail mainlines. Of the 1,300 trains that CFR Calatori operates daily in Romania a decision to cancel 48 trains was taken in order to avoid unpleasant situations for passengers and to facilitate access for intervention crews and equipment. The operative measures that are being taken have as a priority the safety of people and ensuring connections on the mainlines, between large cities,” the company informed.

According to the quoted source, rail travel is adapted to inclement weather conditions with extremely low temperatures in the range of four regional branches: Bucharest, Craiova, Galati and Constanta.

“Some trains may register delays at arrival, determined by the necessity to attach diesel locomotives on certain intervals in the southern part of the country, by the lowered speed limit or by interventions with snowploughs. There is constant intervention by rail crews and equipment. Today the link between Bucharest and Constanta is ensured with several trains,” the company announced.

CFR Calatori mentions that in areas where it is necessary, passengers will be provided with hot tea, coffee, and sandwiches, depending on the capabilities in the field.

 

Police: A2 highway Lehliu – Constanta and A4 highway Ovidiu – Agigea closed due to blizzard

 

The A2 Bucharest – Constanta highway (the segment from Lehliu Gara to Constanta) and A4 between Ovidiu and Agigea were closed on Sunday due to heavy snowfall and blizzard conditions, according to the latest information provided by the Infotrafic center of the Romanian Police General Inspectorate (IGPR).

Furthermore, several sectors of national roads in the counties of Constanta, Galati, Iasi, Tulcea and Vaslui were closed down.

 

Bucharest Ambulance Service: 530 requests in past 12 hours

 

The Bucharest-Ilfov Ambulance Service has logged 530 requests in the past 12 hours, coordinating medic Cristian Grasu stated for Agerpres on Sunday.

According to him, of the 530 requests, 298 were Code Red or Code Yellow emergencies.

A number of 12 persons suffered fractures, and another 31 homeless persons were transported to shelters.

“In the past 12 hours SABIF has conducted 530 interventions, of these 298 were Code Red or Code Yellow emergencies. 12 fractures, 10 pregnant women transported to hospital, of which one gave birth at home. 31 homeless persons taken to shelter,” dr. Cristian Grasu mentioned.

 

Capital Mayor: Schools and kindergartens in Bucharest and Ilfov County to be closed Monday and Tuesday

 

Capital General Mayor Gabriela Firea announced that on Monday and Tuesday the schools and kindergartens in Bucharest and Ilfov County will not open, because of the adverse weather conditions.

The mayor pointed out that the decision was made following consultations with the Education Minister, the chief school inspector of Bucharest and some school principals.

“I have made the decision together with the district mayors not to open kindergartens, day nurseries, schools and high schools, on Monday and Tuesday, as the data we received from meteorologists show that on Monday, Tuesday and even on Wednesday morning it will be freezing cold, around minus 20 degrees, a danger for children, teachers, parents, danger of getting sick, danger of accidents. Even if in the Capital traffic is enabled, because the snow is still being cleared tonight, on Saturday and Sunday, and the traffic will be allowed, it is the freezing cold, the adverse weather,” Gabriela Firea said that the Municipal Police Command Centre.

 

RATB’s sacked director rejects Gabriela Firea’s accusations: She probably wants a new team

 

Radu Orzata, former director general of RATB (Bucharest’s surface public transport operator), sacked on Saturday after the Bucharest Municipality’s General Council (CGMB) adopted a draft decision revoking the members of RATB’s Administrative Council, believes that Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea actually wants a new team.

“She probably wants a new team, which is not at all inappropriate,” Radu Orzata told Realitatea TV, ziare.com informs.

He pointed out that one of the main conditions for RATB to function properly is for it to have a good relationship with the City Hall. That being the case, it is natural for Firea to bring her own team, he suggested.

Asked whether he is satisfied with his results at the helm of RATB, the former director general answered positively: “yes, I believe I did my job well, just like all the others.”

He said he had no talk with Gabriela Firea before he was sacked and it would “tardy” for such a talk to take place now.

Criticised for being on vacation on Friday, when many trams were stuck and tram drivers were forced to remove snow from the tracks themselves, the former director general pointed out he did not believe he had to show up for work because “there were no special things.” He pointed out he was permanently in touch with his colleagues, by phone.

On Saturday, the Bucharest Municipality’s General Council (CGMB) approved a draft decision on the appointment of six provisional members of RATB’s Administrative Council.

The sacking of RATB’s Administrative Council members was expected. On Friday, Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea announced she convened for Saturday morning a meeting in which she was about to propose and put up for vote the decision to revoke RATB’s Administrative Council, for failure to meet its duties in what concerns preparing Bucharest for winter, and the decision to appoint a provisional Administrative Council.

The six provisional members appointed on Saturday are: Mihail Adrian Sorin, Ionut Nicolae Ciecoiu, Iuliu Dan Gogescu, Dumitru Catana, Bogdan Alexandru Trifan and Mihai Petcu.

 

Sorties flown by IGAv pilots and SMURD air rescue teams in Dolj and Bihor

 

The pilots of the General Inspectorate for Aviation of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (IGAv – MAI) together with Mobile Emergency Service for Resuscitation and Extrication (SMURD) air rescue teams have flown three sorties – two in Dolj County to transport one pregnant woman and a child to hospital, as well as one in Bihor County.

According to the same MAI release, the SMURD helicopter stationed in Craiova flew to the locality of Covei in Dolj County to pick up a pregnant woman that complained of abdominal pain. The woman was transported to the Dolj County Hospital in Craiova.

The same helicopter then picked up a child aged less than a year from the Dolj County locality of Caraula. The child had a fever and was transported, together with his mother, to the Dolj County Hospital in Craiova.

The third sortie flown today was by the SMURD helicopter stationed in Arad to transport a 63 year old woman from Lacea, Bihor County, to the Bihor County Hospital in Oradea. The woman was found by relatives unconscious and in hypothermia.

“The three missions were executed with MAI helicopters due to the hard to tackle roads in the areas of intervention. The pilots of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the SMURD personnel are on duty in this period having at their disposal for the sorties 14 helicopters and one medical airplane,” the quoted source mentions.

 

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