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Heavy snow has blocked Central Europe

15 March 2013

With regard to the dire situation and extremely serious traffic conditions in parts of Central Europe, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises Bulgarian citizens to undertake journeys only if absolutely necessary.

Weather conditions in eastern and central Slovakia, as well as in the regions of Komárno and Dunajská Streda in southern Slovakia, are extremely difficult because of strong winds, ice and snowdrifts. In places, the wind speed reaches 70 to 80km/h and visibility is low.

Closed to all motor vehicles are the Donovali mountain pass, highway D1 from Levocha to Poprad, the Komárno– Veljko Meder road and many secondary roads in the regions of Prešov, Košice, and Michalovce Kezhmarok as well as some of the border crossings between Slovakia and Poland, at the villages of Beherov, Kurov and the district of Bardejov. In the Puste pass, travel is allowed only if vehicles are fitted with snow chains.

There are great difficulties with rail transport, trains are greatly delayed and the rail line between Komárnoand Veljko Meder is closed.

It is expected that the situation will worsen in the regions of Prešov and Košice, where by the end of the day, heavy snow is expected.

Snow near the Austrian Alps is expected to stop. Strong winds will continue in the coming days. Morning temperatures are from minus eight to minus two degrees Celsius during the day, reaching minus four to three degreesabove zero. Rain and snowfalls have caused problems on motorways in Austria:

- A4 - Ost Autobahn: Vienna - Budapest. At the Nickelsdorf border checkpoint with Hungary, movement in both directions is hampered by snowfalls and numerous accidents. People are advised not to travel to that area;

- A14 - Rheintal Autobahn: Lindau - Arlberg. Between Pfändertunnel and AS Hohenems in both directions, there is a risk of icy roads and difficulty moving because of snowfalls;

- L114 - Schanzsattel Landesstraße: Birkfeld - Kindberg. Between Birkfeld and Fischbach in both directions there are snowfalls and difficulty moving because of fallen trees.

Information on current traffic conditions can be found at the site: http://www.oeamtc.at/?id=2500,,1095812,10280.

Airports in Austria have not reported any cancellations.

The national road network in the Czech Republic is passable in winter conditions. Traffic on part of the secondary roads in the mountainous Zlín Region is hampered by snowfalls and strong winds, today expected to reach 20m/s. In Jihocesky, Hradec Kralove and Olomouc regions there is danger of the formation of black ice.

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