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Problems in snowbound Balkans

13. February 2012. | 14:11

Source: Tanjug

It stopped snowing on Monday in most of Montenegro, where the snowy weather had taken three lives, but there are still large problems with traffic and power supply, so it will take time for the situation to return to normal.

It stopped snowing on Monday in most of Montenegro, where the snowy weather had taken three lives, but there are still large problems with traffic and power supply, so it will take time for the situation to return to normal.

The large quantities of snow that fell in Montenegro over the previous two days literally paralized the country, brought road and railway traffic to a halt, cut the south of the country off from the north and caused great problems with power supply, which led to the introduction of a state of emergency.

Around 50 passengers and crew have been trapped since Friday in a train cut off by an avalanche near Kolasin. Rescue services attempted a helicopter evacuation on Monday morning, but they failed because of bad weather.

Snow levels have broken all records since official measurement was introduced. Over 2 m of snow have been measured on the mountain of Zabljak, while in Podgorica the snow cover reached 60 cm, even though the Montenegrin capital is known for not having any snow for years at a time.

The national power company has stated that it is working at the maximum capacity and importing power to ensure a stable supply, but a plan is being drawn up to introduce power cuts if the situation with electricity grows worse.

Snow and cold temperatures have caused traffic trouble in Republika Srpska and the entire Bosnia-Herzegovina as well, but there have been no problems with electricity, apart from some remote villages where technicians have not been able to fix the problems.

The collapse of a part of the western stands of the stadium located in the part of Sarajevo called Grbavica and the collapse of the roof of the Skenderija ice hall have caused great material damage, the Sarajevo media have reported.

According to head of the Republika Srpska civil defence administration Milimir Doder, all teams are at work on clearing the snow from the roads. The situation is difficult, but there are no citizens in life-threatening situations, he added.

There are no problems with the power supply, except in some remote villages where teams are fighting impossible weather conditions in order to make repairs.

The Macedonian government has declared a power crisis and adopted emergency steps to conserve electricity and ensure the stability of the power supply system.

Macedonia has also banned the export of electricity until the end of the month.
According to the Crisis Management Centre, around 100 villages with 3,000 people are snowed in, but the situation is not alarming.

The operation employing military helicopters to deliver food and medication to inaccessible villages continued on Sunday as well.

Several bus and train departures were cancelled, but the Alexander the Great Airport in Skopje was open.
The situation in most of Croatia is returning to normal as snowing has stopped, but there are still troubles with traffic and power supply.

Snow has reached 30 cm in Zagreb, which has not happened there in a long time. It has created black ice, slowing down tram and bus traffic.


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13. February - 19. February 2012.