Heavy snow, wind causes traffic chaos in Balkan countries
Zagreb, Croatia –
Croatian authorities closed all roads connecting mainland Croatia to the Adriatic coastline on Sunday due to heavy snow and strong winds, causing traffic chaos in the country and in the Balkans.
The sudden spell of winter weather in Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia this weekend comes after several days of unseasonably warm weather. In Serbia, people in the north awoke to a snow-covered landscape, and temperatures in the south reached 22 degrees Celsius (71.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
There was a line of cars on the road heading to the Croatian coastline. Authorities have opened a former refugee center and child care facility for stranded drivers until roads reopen.
The Croatian news agency HINA reported that 80 people were housed at a center in the central Lika town of Grasac.
Croatian media reported that many people were stranded in their cars far from the center, which can only be reached on foot.
Due to the bad weather, ferry services between the Croatian mainland coastline and the country’s islands were also suspended.
Croatian police earlier said the bus overturned, killing one person and injuring several others. The accident occurred just before midnight on Saturday in western Croatia, police said.
The bus with Albanian license plates slid off to the side of the road, hit a road barrier and rolled over. There were 9 people and a driver on board.
Traffic problems have also been reported in Serbia and Bosnia. Serbian authorities have banned trailers he trucks from entering the roads and reported a drop in traffic across the region.
In both Serbia and Bosnia, heavy, wet snow knocked over branches and trees, sometimes blocking roads. In the western Serbian town of Uzice, a tree fell on a sidewalk and hit a woman with a small child, but was not seriously injured.