Storm hits Cadiz and destroys cars, boats and buildings. But reveals long lost Roman ruins

Even the southwestern most tip of Spain was not immune to a battering as Storm Emma swept across Spain last week.

Storm hits Cadiz and destroys cars, boats and buildings. But reveals long lost Roman ruins
A piece of the revealed Roman aqueduct on Cadiz's Cortadura beach. Photo: ADIP

While much of the rest of the peninsula was covered in a blanket of snow last week, the province of Cadiz was buffeted by torrential rains, strong winds, high seas, and even a tornado.

Yachts in the marina at Puerto Sherry were upturned, cars washed away and beach restaurants ripped apart.

But as the flood water drained away and the skies cleared, a surprising discovery was revealed.

At Cortadura beach, the sand parted to reveal chunks of masonry thought to belong to a Roman aqueduct, long thought lost to erosion by the sea.

Municipal archaeologists were called in at the weekend to examine and protect the area from amateur treasure hunters after news of the emergence of the ruins spread.

“We were alerted to the presence of these remains, and to the fact that people were digging in the area, so we went there, warned people to stop what they were doing, and called city officials,” Moisés Camacho, president of the Association for the Investigation and Dissemination of Cádiz’s Heritage (Adip), told El Pais.

His team believe that the discovery includes fragments of an ancient aqueduct that supplied the Roman port of Gades (now modern-day Cadiz).

The storm also uncovered parts of an old road that was thought destroyed in the tsunami that swept through the region in the aftermath of Lisbon’s 1755 earthquake.


Every Thursday we'll deliver a free dose of news and views from Spain straight into your inbox. The newsletter will inform you about what's going on in Spain and (hopefully) entertain you with a selection of features. Sign up here.


Spain urges holidaymakers to head home early due to snow and strong wind warnings

Nine Spanish regions were put on alert on Tuesday for heavy snow, rain and strong winds, with the country's traffic authorities calling for people taking holidays this long weekend to head home early to avoid the worst of the bad weather.

Spain urges holidaymakers to head home early due to snow and strong wind warnings
Vehicles stuck in traffic due to a heavy snowfall near Burgos, northern Spain, in March 2021. Photo: Cesar Manso/AFP

Aragón, Castilla y León, Catalonia, Navarra and the Basque Country will be on orange alert from Tuesday for snow storms, while Asturias, Cantabria, La Rioja and La Comunidad Valenciana are on the less-severe yellow alert, Spain’s State Meteorological Agency (Aemet) announced.

A slight increase in temperatures will increase the risk of avalanches in the Pyrenees and the central Cantabrian mountain range.

Some roads in the north of the country are already being affected by snow and are being restricted to some traffic such as trucks and heavy vehicles.

Spain’s traffic authority (DGT) called on residents in the northern half of the country to return early from the puente (long weekend) marked by the public holidays of December 6 and 8, ahead of heavy snow forecast for Wednesday.

Of the 108 main roads affected by the heavy snow in Spain, almost half of them are in the northeastern region Aragón.

Aragón, Catalonia and Navarra are at risk of avalanches, according to data from Aemet, while a storm warning has been issued for the coastal areas of Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Catalonia and the Basque country.

Heavy rainfall is expected in Galicia, extending to Cantabria and the western Pyrenees.