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Two killed in Bulgaria by falling trees in gale-force winds

On Saturday, police reported that a man had died after his van hit a fallen tree on a major boulevard in the capital, Sofia, while in the Black Sea city of Varna, a woman died instantly after being struck by a falling tree branch.

A state of emergency has been declared in Varna municipality, where officials said the extreme weather poses serious risks to the population. The city of Varna was struck by gale-force winds and torrential rain mixed with snow.

The mayor’s office reported that the power supply is disrupted in all areas of the city and key roads are blocked by fallen trees and branches, leaving vehicles stranded. It called on citizens to stay at home and not to use their cars except in urgent cases.

Residents said they had never experienced such weather.

Varna International Airport was open, but there were delayed and cancelled flights, airport officials said.

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Bulgarian meteorologists issued warnings for dangerous weather for most of eastern Bulgaria on Sunday, with winds gusting up to 125 kph. The heavy rain is expected to turn into snow due to falling temperatures.