A heavy storm hits the Bulgarian Coast

Between 6th and 8th February 2012 a short, but very intense storm hit the Western Black Sea. Many locations along the Bulgarian coast were flooded causing considerable erosion and damage to coastal infrastructure. The municipalities of Varna, Pomorie and Tsarevo were the most strongly affected. The main port constructions of Varna and Tsarevo and the dike of Pomorie were overtopped, flooding the seaside alleys.

Some alleys were ruined, broken up or covered with sand, dirt or large pieces of stones brought in by the flood. The dike in Pomorie was damaged at several points and needs to be repaired. The lighthouse in Tsarevo was destroyed. Ports of Varna and Burgas were closed due to strong winds. Many marinas and fisheries suffered damages: lots of boats were broken or carryied away, a big yacht was cast ashore in Pomorie. Dozens of first-line hotels in Albena, Kranevo, Obzor, Aheloy, Nessebar, Pomorie, Tsarevo, Lozenets, and Oazis were inundated. In Varna the foundations of Sea Baths were undermined and partially ruined, while other buildings on the beach (restaurants, small bars, etc.) were flooded but didn’t appear to have suffered any substantial damages.


Erosion undermined the foundations of the Sea Baths at Varna


A damaged alley


Erosion at Varna beach

 At first opportunity a team from the Institute of Oceanology in Varna (IO-BAS) went out to survey the beaches in the THESEUS study site in terms of shore-line position, cross-shore beach profiles and maximum run-up. The northern part of Varna beach was totally flooded, while in the southern part maximum run-up did not reach the beach rear line (inundation 80-90%). At Karantinata, beach only the southern part was entirely under water and in the fishing hamlet two houses were inundated. In the same area waves overtopped the sea-front alley and the water even reached the forest beyond it. Significant erosion was measured. At Varna beach the eroded layers reached a maximum thickness of 0.80 m, at Karantinata beach a maximum thickness of 0.60 m. 

Nova TV (one out three Bulgarian national televisions) showed interest as the researchers went out to survey the site and joined them during their field work. It became a news item on the central 19 O'clock news: http://novatv.bg/news/view/2012/02/10/26785/%D0%A9%D0%B5-%D1%81%D0%B5-

Scat tv joined the researches during an additional survey:  http://www.skat.bg/news.php?action=7&newsID=16176

>> More pictures of the flood

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By Ekaterina Trifonova and the BG Team.