In the afternoon of 5 January 2016, the western and north-eastern parts of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia were hit by a heavy snowstorm. In the evening, the temperatures decreased to 25 Celsius degrees below zero. The mountain passes through Gostivar, Kicevo, Kriva Palanka – Kustendil put a ban on the movement of heavy vehicles, while motor vehicles were moving in difficult conditions due to the icy road conditions.
Specialized vehicles have been working on cleaning the roads from the snow. Many villages were cut off by high snowdrifts and the blocked roads in the regions of Skopje, Bitola, Kriva Palanka, Debar, Makedonski Brod, Gostivar, Kumanovo, Kichevo, Struga Ohrid and Stip. The Red Cross of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia assisted 255 vulnerable families in these regions. As a result of the cold and freezing temperatures, three people have been reported as dead in Skopje, Strumica and Pehcevo. (IFRC, 24 Jan 2017)