Authorities on alert as extreme weather expected to paralyse Albania
TIRANA, Jan. 5 – Heavy snowfall has already paralyzed northern Albania and is expected to sweep most of the country in the next few days as temperatures are forecast to drop to record lows of 20 degrees Celsius below zero in some mountain areas.
Classes in the pre-university education system have also been suspended due to the possible outbreak of a flu epidemic as thousands have been affected, especially children.
Authorities are already on alert as snow and frost are expected to cover all of Albania, including the central regions of Tirana and Durres where about a third of the country’s 2.8 million resident population lives.
The challenge will be to keep roads passable, avoid road accidents and respond to emergency health situations in remote areas which have already been isolated by heavy snowfall.
Shemsi Prençi, the director of Albania’s Civil Emergency Service, warned there will be snowfall even as low as 200 metres above the sea level including central Albania coastal areas where snowfall during the past two decades has been sporadic.
Meteorologists expect the uncommon situation for Albania’s Mediterranean climate to last until next Monday with temperatures ranging between minus 9 in Tirana to minus 20 degrees Celsius in remote northeastern Albanian regions.