Spain suffers worst snowstorm in recent memory as emergency crews battle to rescue people


Spain suffers its worst snowstorm in recent memory as emergency crews battle to rescue more than 1500 people trapped in cars after 20 INCHES fell in a day

  • Madrid has been struggling to clear the huge snow dump from Storm Filomena which brought 20 inches 
  • Four people have been killed and roads, railways and air travel have all been disrupted by the storm
  • The snowstorm is the worst in recent memory in the country with forecast temperatures of -14 expected

Advertisement

Emergency crews in central Spain have cleared 500 roads and rescued more than 1,500 people stranded in vehicles as the country slowly shovels its way out of its worst snowstorm in recent memory.

After recording 20 inches of snow in the Spanish capital between Friday night and Saturday, Madrid and a large swathe of the country remained impassable, with roads, rail lines and air travel disrupted by Storm Filomena. 

The blizzard has been blamed for four deaths.

A man skis at Espana square in downtown Madrid, Spain, on Sunday, as large parts of the country are battling a huge snowstorm

Emergency crews in central Spain have cleared 500 roads and rescued more than 1,500 people stranded in vehicles

Emergency crews in central Spain have cleared 500 roads and rescued more than 1,500 people stranded in vehicles

After recording 20 inches of snow in the Spanish capital between Friday night and Saturday, Madrid and a large swathe of the country remained impassable

After recording 20 inches of snow in the Spanish capital between Friday night and Saturday, Madrid and a large swathe of the country remained impassable

Transport minister Jose Luis Abalos said by Sunday crews had cleared two runways at Madrid’s Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas International Airport and, weather permitting, service would slowly return sometime between Sunday evening and Monday.

Trains traversing the capital were to start gradually coming back online Sunday afternoon, Mr Abalos said, but the important high-speed line linking Madrid with Barcelona remained out of operation.

More than 150 roads were still impassable on Sunday. Authorities said all trips by car should be postponed and tyre chains were obligatory for journeys that could not be avoided. 

They said all people trapped in their cars by the snow had been rescued but hundreds of cars needed to be recovered after being abandoned by drivers.

Storm Filomena has lost strength as it moved eastwards but authorities are still urging people to remain at home to limit the risk of falls on icy streets as a cold front moves in.

Roads, rail lines and air travel have been disrupted by Storm Filomena which has also been blamed for four deaths

Roads, rail lines and air travel have been disrupted by Storm Filomena which has also been blamed for four deaths

Authorities said all trips by car should be postponed and tyre chains were obligatory for journeys that could not be avoided

Authorities said all trips by car should be postponed and tyre chains were obligatory for journeys that could not be avoided

Storm Filomena has lost strength as it moved eastwards but authorities are still urging people to remain at home to limit the risk of falls

Storm Filomena has lost strength as it moved eastwards but authorities are still urging people to remain at home to limit the risk of falls

Transport minister Jose Luis Abalos said by Sunday crews had cleared two runways at Madrid's Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas International Airport

Transport minister Jose Luis Abalos said by Sunday crews had cleared two runways at Madrid’s Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas International Airport

‘The danger is not over,’ said interior minister Fernando Grande-Markaska. ‘A week of extreme cold is coming and that will transform all the snow on the ground into ice, thereby multiplying the risk. 

‘The storm is bringing with it a cold wave that could push temperatures down to record levels.’

Spain’s weather service forecasts temperatures to drop as low as minus 14C (6F) in the eastern province of Albacete by Tuesday.

The sparsely populated province of Teruel remained under red alert for intense snowfall, while large areas of eastern Aragon and Catalonia also were under alert with wintry weather.

A view of Oriente square covered with snow with the Royal Palace in front in downtown Madrid

A view of Oriente square covered with snow with the Royal Palace in front in downtown Madrid

People walk on the snow along Calle de Segovia during heavy snowfall on Saturday as Spain slowly starts to shovel away the huge dump

People walk on the snow along Calle de Segovia during heavy snowfall on Saturday as Spain slowly starts to shovel away the huge dump

Trains traversing the capital were to start gradually coming back online Sunday afternoon

Trains traversing the capital were to start gradually coming back online Sunday afternoon

Army emergency brigades have focused on clearing access to Madrid's main fresh food distribution centre and to hospitals

Army emergency brigades have focused on clearing access to Madrid’s main fresh food distribution centre and to hospitals

Army emergency brigades have focused on clearing access to Madrid’s main fresh food distribution centre and to hospitals, as Spain also grappled with its coronavirus crisis, with infections on the rise following the Christmas holidays.

Mr Grande-Marlaska said the government will take extra steps to ensure that the country’s weekly shipment of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine on Monday can be distributed to regional health authorities via police-escorted convoys.

Spain has seen more than 51,800 confirmed virus deaths in the pandemic.

A man walks past trees fallen on a street, during a heavy snowfall in the centre of Madrid

A man walks past trees fallen on a street, during a heavy snowfall in the centre of Madrid

Trains are stuck in the snow at the Atocha train station after a heavy snowfall in Madrid which has seen four people killed

Trains are stuck in the snow at the Atocha train station after a heavy snowfall in Madrid which has seen four people killed

All people trapped in their cars by the snow had been rescued but hundreds of cars needed to be recovered after being abandoned by drivers

All people trapped in their cars by the snow had been rescued but hundreds of cars needed to be recovered after being abandoned by drivers

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk