Spain battered by weekend storms and floods and there’s more to come

Spain’s weather agency continued to issue severe weather warnings on Monday as storms bringing torrential rain and flood risk swept across Spain.

Spain battered by weekend storms and floods and there’s more to come
File photo: AFP

Even as Alicante and Valencia were braced for torrential rain, a clean-up operation was underway in Andalusia after a weekend of stormy weather caused flooding, blocked roads and closed schools.

The province of Malaga had been braced for severe weather and suffered thunder storms and dramatic images capture the moment an apartment building in Malaga was struck by lightning. 

Meanwhile along the coast in Marbella, lightning strike caused a fire to break out at a hotel forcing evacuation of staff and guests.

Images show towns along the Costa del Sol being lashed by high winds, huge waves and torrential rain. In many places schools remained closed on Monday and several roads were blocked due to flooding. This is the view of a motorway blocked in Huelva by flood water:

This footage from emergency services in Estepona shows the fierce wind:





Further north in Galicia, a 75-year-old woman drowned as flood water engulfed her home in Lugo, in the northwestern region on Sunday afternoon. 

In the Canary Islands, storms caused high seas forcing several buildings to be evacuated after they were battered by giant waves.

Residents were forced to evacuate apartments in Garachico in Tenerife after 40ft waves smashed windows and ripped off balconies on the lower two floors of a building on the sea front.

On Monday, 17 provinces were issued with weather alerts by Spain’s Meteorological agency, AEMET.

Valencia and Alicante were issued with the most extreme red alert in the expectation of torrential rain and high flood risk and schools across both provinces were closed.

The lesser orange alerts – representing significant risk –  were issued for the Balearic Islands for rain, which the lower risk yellow alerts were put in place for  Ávila, Tarragona, Madrid and Castellón provinces.




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.