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WEATHER

WATCH: Cars swept away in flash floods as Madrid hit by storms

Madrid was hit by torrential storms on Monday evening.

WATCH: Cars swept away in flash floods as Madrid hit by storms
Policiavaldmoro/Twitter

More than 9,300 lightening strikes were recorded in Madrid during Monday evening as the capital was hit by storms bring hail and torrential rain.

The worst hit was Arganda del Rey, a town to the southeast of Madrid where the mainstreet was turned into a river by flashfloods and hailstones.

Residents posted videos of cars being swept away. 

The storm, which reached its peak around 8pm, caused problems on the metro, including the closure of some stations on Lines 1,5,6,7 and 12, as well as traffic difficulties with jams on the M30 and flooding in the tunnels. 

Flights to Barajas airport were also affected with several diverted to other airports.

“The rains are torrential but nothing unusual for this time of year,” said a spokesman at National Weather Agency AEMET. “At the end of summer, we expect storms.”

Madrid's emergency services said they had received more than 1,000 calls regarding the storms and the fire brigade attended more than 200 incidents, according to Madrid City Hall.

During the storm, the weather station at Ciudad Universitaria recorded rainfall of 36ml per square metre, while rainfall of 64ml feel in Tielmes to the southeast of the capital.

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WEATHER

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.

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