Storms hit Catalan coast: ‘It was like a hurricane’

A fierce storm swept through parts of coastal Catalonia during the night, bringing strong winds, hailstones and torrential rain and leaving felled trees and flooding in its wake.

Storms hit Catalan coast: ‘It was like a hurricane’

Emergency services said they received a total of 432 emergency calls reporting incidents as a result of the storm which hit the coast south of Barcelona between 4 and 6am.

The seaside towns of Sitges, Garraf, Casteldefells and Gava Mar were among the worst hit.

In some places, the roads were turned into rivers. 


First thing on Monday morning roads were closed around Casteldefells due to flooding and Renfe warned that there would be disruptions on the trains servicing the R13, R14, R15 and R16 routes due to flooding on the tracks.

Clean up teams were seen removing fallen trees and clearing up beach areas around Gava Mar.

Local reports said that some 40 litres of water had fallen per meter in half an hour in the Garraf and Penedes area.

British holidaymaker Julie Henry, her husband and two children were staying in an apartment in Gava Mar when they were woken by the storm around 4.30am.

“I've never seen anything like it, it was like a hurricane!” she told The Local. “Thank God we weren't camping!”



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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.