Update – Glazed frost played havoc: Firefighters had more than 2,000 interventions, 220 cars damaged

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The firefighters from Bucharest and Ilfov intervened in over 2,000 emergency situations caused by frozen rain, Bucharest-Ilfov Inspectorate for Emergency Situations (ISU) spokesman Daniel Vasile said on Sunday. More than 220 cars were damaged, the Inspectorate has announced.

Firefighters in Bucharest and Ilfov intervened until 6.00h on Sunday, in 1,810 cases.

220 cars were damaged after the fall of the trees.

Most requests were in the Capital, respectively 1,700, and in Ilfov County were 110.

The number of households not supplied with electricity was 120,000, Saturday at 16:00h, according to an information from the Ministry of Energy (ME).

This number was lower than at 12:00h, in the four hours 30,000 households were re-connected to the network. At 12:00h, there were 150,000 consumers without electricity countrywide.

On Saturday, information was that over 700 trees have fallen, 50 cars were damaged, two people were seriously injured. Public transportation, air traffic, were also affected

The glazed frost and the freezing rain that seized Bucharest for several days have played havoc in the city last night. Under the weight of the freezing rain, many trees and lamp posts have fallen down on the sidewalks or over the cars parked near them.

A 32-year-old man has been seriously injured by a fallen tree in District 6 of the Capital. He has been taken unconscious to Elias Hospital. Around noon, a woman has been also seriously injured by a tree fallen in the District 3.

Tens of other people have stormed the emergency rooms of the hospitals in Bucharest after having fallen through the ice. 43 people have been reported with sprains, fractures and cricks since Friday morning till Saturday morning. 12 people had injuries on their face and head following falls.

The weathermen had issued a code orange alert for glazed frost valid in Bucharest and 10 counties until Saturday  03:00a.m., yet effects have turned the city upside down all through Saturday.

According to a preliminary statistics released by the Interior Ministry, firemen intervened in Bucharest to remove 740 trees, three lamp posts and ten poles fallen on the road. 55 cars have been damaged.

When they woke up on Saturday morning, Bucharesters lived their worst nightmare, many of them finding their cars under the fallen trees, others being unable to reach their destinations for the public transportation has been also affected by the glazed frost, with many trolleys and tramways being blocked. So, they rushed to call 112 emergency service, which prompted the Interior Ministry to use the RO-ALERT system, calling on the population to avoid overuse of the 112 phone service.

To avoid the overload of the 112 call system we ask the citizens of Bucharest and Ilfov county to avoid repeated calls to 112 referring to the trees’ removal or other similar situation, except for the cases with victims or that pose an immediate danger to life. At this moment the 112 staff and the Inspectorate of the Emergency Situation staff have been supplemented and deployed to manage all emergency situations, yet prioritizing the major emergencies”, say the ministry’s press release.

Tramway 41 has been blocked for three hours on Saturday due to the branches of the trees that had fallen on the streetcar lines. Tramways 23, 27, 1, 34, 46, 68 and 85 was also blocked for the same reason or due to the electric cables that had fallen over the weight of ice.

Weather-related problems were encountered in other 16 counties, Arad, Argeş, Brăila, Buzău, Călăraşi, Constanţa, Dâmboviţa, Gorj, Giurgiu, Ilfov, Ialomiţa, Mehedinţi, Prahova, Teleorman, Tulcea, Vâlcea, with firefighters intervening to remove over 800 fallen trees, 13 lamp posts and three electric cables countrywide. Rescue teams also helped 40 people to get out of 30 cars that had been stuck in the snow.

Bucharest district mayors, over their head

District city halls in Bucharest are over their head with the glazed frost situation, especially on the fallen trees. District 1 mayor has compared the situation to an earthquake, saying he has never done such a phenomenon.

We cannot clean the trees that are falling down now and it has nothing to do with the fact that if they had been dressed in advance they would have not fallen, for healthy trees went down now. It’s a natural phenomenon that we cannot control, like in an earthquake. I’ve never seen such thing in my life. We have the most fallen trees in our district,” said the District 1 mayor Daniel Tudorache.

On the other hand, former interim general mayor of Bucharest, Ştefănel Marin, says the authorities should have been ready for this kind of situations, and that trees should have been inventoried and ensured.

Rail, air traffic, disturbed, houses without electricity

The bad weather has also delayed trains by hundreds of minutes, has postponed or cancelled air flights. Tens of thousands of households had run out of electricity and the emergency rooms of the hospitals are stormed by people who had fallen through the ice.

The high risk of avalanche is still in force in the Făgăraş, Ţarcu -Godeanu, Bucegi, Parâng – Şureanu mountains.

Trains coming from all corners of the country to Bucharest were delayed by hundreds of minutes. The highest delay, 240 minutes, has been reported on the train that should have reached Bucharest from Ploiesti, Digi 24 reported.

As for the air traffic, 12 aircraft that should have been taken off from “Henri Coanda/Otopeni” Airport in Bucharest reported delays, with the highest ones being the flight to Iasi- one hour and 40 minutes delay and the one to Naples, Italy-one hour and a half delay. Landings have also been hampered, four flights have been cancelled and seven delayed.

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