MADRID – So far, the storms Gerard and Fien that are raging over the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands these days has claimed three lives. The latest victim is a German woman who drowned in the sea near Mallorca.
On Tuesday she went for a swim, as she does every morning according to La Vanguardia, and didn’t come back. Her body was found on Wednesday morning by the Guardia Civil near Bendinat, a few kilometres from La Palma. Wind gusts of up to 120 kilometres per hour in some areas on the island and waves of up to six meters high would have killed the woman.
Another victim of the powerful storm fell in the Basque municipality of Bermeo. The body of an 80-year-old man who had been reported missing since Monday was found there. In Palencia, a 69-year-old woman did not survive the water that had dragged her with her force.
Hundreds of incidents
In addition to the three casualties, storms Gerard and Fien have caused hundreds of incidents related to snow, heavy rains and strong gusts of wind. Several roads are closed and meteorologists expect the intense cold to continue at least until the weekend.
The weather station Aemet has labelled what is happening as “extreme phenomenon“, namely a storm of 48 hours of snow in lower areas”. This will continue until Thursday. The snow line in the north of Spain is between 300 and 500 meters. Residents of provincial capitals such as Vitoria, Ávila, León, Pamplona, Huesca and Lugo awoke to a white world.
Nearly 1,900 kilometres of roads across 24 provinces, mainly in the north, were blocked by snow or flooding. Freight traffic in particular is affected. According to the newspaper 20Minutos, there is a congestion of 80 trucks on the A15, where snowplows and the police have to come to the rescue.
Snow in Malaga
The most snow has fallen in the northern half of Spain. However, white flakes have also reached the coastal zone in the south. For example, the mountain tops east of the province of Málaga are covered with a thin layer of powder. The Sierra de las Nieves more to the west also lives up to its name; its highest peaks are white again.