At least four people have died due to heavy snowfall in Spain. The storm left thousands of drivers trapped in their vehicles, closed Madrid airport and put five regions in the center of the country, including the capital, on red alert this Saturday (9).
The authorities fear the worst is yet to come. “We have faced the most intense storm in the last 50 years,” said Fernando Grande-Marlaska, Minister of the Interior.
“Avoid travel and follow the instructions of the emergency services. Be vigilant in the face of storm Filomena ”, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez posted this morning on Twitter, praising the work of“ professionals who seek to help people trapped in the snow ”.
A man and a woman drowned after the car they were in was hit by the waters of a river that crossed its banks near Malaga in the south of the country. Authorities said two homeless people froze to death – one in the capital and the other in Calatayud, in the east of the country.
Also according to the Prime Minister, more than 650 roads were blocked by snow and at least 1,500 people trapped in cars were rescued. On the Gran Via, usually one of the busiest streets in the capital, skiers were slipping. Other residents of Madrid took advantage of the abnormal blizzard to snowboard the road or throw snowballs at each other.
In the capital, “the situation is very serious,” according to Mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida, who, on Twitter, asked residents not to leave their homes. Snowfall has been constant since Friday evening (8).
Parks were closed, while public bus traffic and garbage collection were suspended. The Madrid authorities have also decided to close schools next Monday and Tuesday.
Aena, which controls the country’s airports, said Madrid Barajas Airport, which closed on Friday evening, will remain the same for the rest of Saturday. The agency also said at least 50 flights to Madrid, Malaga, Tenerife and Ceuta had been canceled.
The National Meteorological Agency said it was the capital’s strongest snowstorm since 1971, while José Miguel Viñas, meteorologist at Spanish National Radio, said that between 25 cm and 50 cm of snow fell in the city, which he said did. biggest blizzard since 1963.