Heavy snowfall blanketed Belgrade and much of the Balkans on Sunday, hampering traffic, canceling flights at the Serbian capital’s main airport and disrupting public transport.
Many parts of the country reported power outages and damage to buildings from falling trees. The freezing conditions saw trucks skidding on the roads and getting stuck as plows were used to pull them out.
Much of western Serbia was without electricity as authorities warned against unnecessary travel and called on residents of Serbia to save electricity.
In the capital, several trees fell under the weight of heavy snow, damaging cars and buildings. Some people had to be rescued after being trapped in their wrecked vehicles.
Several flights to and from Belgrade’s main airport were canceled due to weather conditions and a brief power outage at the main terminal, Belgrade media reported. A highway leading to the airport was closed for several hours due to a traffic jam caused by snowfall.
Passengers on a local train to Belgrade were stuck in snow for seven hours before being given bus transport to the capital
Emergency services assisted authorities in the cleanup operation throughout Sunday, while another alert for more snow and ice was issued.
In Bulgaria, heavy rains and major flooding ravaged the south of the country this weekend, forcing authorities to declare a state of emergency.
The worst affected areas were in the Smolyan region near the border with Greece, where rivers overflowed to overflow roads and flood homes. Several trucks were trapped in a landslide on an intercity road.
Strong winds interrupted the power supply to dozens of villages, authorities said.
Further south in Albania, authorities mobilized police, army and emergency forces to deal with flooding after three days of continuous rain and snow.
The Vjosa River to the south flooded many areas. An elderly couple who had spent the night on the roof of their home in southwestern Albania were rescued by police in the morning.
Many roads have been temporarily blocked by landslides in the south. Elsewhere in the northeast and southeast of the country, heavy snowfall hampered or temporarily stalled traffic.