A Storm Filomena in Spain has killed at least Four people. Heavy snowfall has severely disrupted air, land and rail travel. As many as 600 roads were closed to traffic, leaving a large number of vehicles stranded.
More than 1,500 people have been rescued, according to a statement from Gendarmerie and civil society groups.
“We are currently facing the worst Storm in 50 years,” Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska Gómez said in a statement to the media. Despite the extremely bad weather conditions, the financial loss we have suffered so far is limited, but 3 people have died, he added
It is to be noted that due to continuous snowfall for 30 hours, trees have been uprooted and vehicles have been severely damaged. Military units are also involved in the ongoing relief work in Madrid.
According to meteorologists, the snowfall will continue till the beginning of the week.
Storm Filomena has caused many parts of Spain to be covered in snow and authorities have put more than half of the country on red alert.
The capital, Madrid, is one of the worst-hit areas, with up to eight inches of snow expected in the next 24 hours and rivers flooded the southern part of the country.
So far, four deaths have been confirmed due to the storm. Authorities say two people died of freezing temperatures while two people were travelling in a car in the Malaga, city of southern Span when their car sank in the floodwaters.
As the snow began to fall in Madrid on Friday, a large number of vehicles were stranded on the motorway near the city.
Madrid Barajas International Airport was also closed, while major highways and trains to and from the city were temporarily suspended.
Firefighters were called in to help stranded vehicles and their drivers, and troops were called in to clear roads in some areas.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has requested the public to stay home and follow government guidelines.
King Felipe and Queen Letizia of the country tweeted: “Be very careful about the dangers posed by snow.”
Los Reyes muestran su dolor por víctimas del temporal, preocupación con autoridades nacionales, autonómicas y locales, máximo interés por personas afectadas y piden extremar la precaución ante los riesgos de acumulación de hielo y nieve.
— Casa de S.M. el Rey (@CasaReal) January 9, 2021
On the other hand, after the snowfall, many people went out and enjoyed the beautiful view and took pictures.
Many people gathered at Madrid’s famous Puerta del Sol Square.
In the Cañada Real Galiana, the largest slum in Western Europe, people are trying to keep themselves warm by lighting a fire.
It is said that the severe cold weather in Madrid will continue for the next few days and according to the forecast of the Meteorological Department, the temperature may drop to minus 12 degrees next Thursday.