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Eastern Bulgaria Struggles to Return to Normal Life

Politics: 6 February 2005, Sunday.

After three days being tightly embraced by blizzards, stormy winds and freezing temperatures, the residents of “sea capital” Varna started to return slowly to normal life with streets now cleaned up and food supplies renewed.

Upon the initiative of local governor, six Orthodox churches, the Armenian church and the mosque of the city opened doors to start a campaign of handing out food supplies.

Schools of Varna will remain closed until next Monday, Mayor Kiril Yordanov announced, but kindergartens will continue working as to date.

Varna has been one of nine districts of Eastern Bulgaria to declare a state of emergency after two-meter snow cover and hurricane winds made any traffic in the region impossible.

All transport and track facilities, supported by the army, have struggled since Thursday to clean up snow drifts and reach remote areas, some of which have been left without electricity and running water for two days.

Hundreds of automobiles, buses and trucks have stuck in the snow drifts. Emergency management operations are continuing to provide people with victuals, as well as with medical and transport aid.

The ports of Varna started receiving cargo ships only and unloading them and the city airport also relaunched operation on Saturday.

In this grave situation temperatures dropped down to minus 20 degrees in some north-west regions and to the record minus 29 degrees in the town of Sevlievo. The country’s roads remain icy and dangerous for driving.

The state totalizer announced on Sunday it delayed the regular draw by one day because of the state of emergency in various parts of the country.

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