A storm that has been dubbed “Gloria” has seen very heavy snowfall across Spain’s eastern Valencia region today, leaving freeways cut off, ports closed and around 20,000 homes without electricity in the Alicante province alone.
The conditions have so far claimed three lives.On Sunday a man was hit by another vehicle and killed as he was trying to fit snow chains to his car. Another man, aged 63, died the same day in Pedro Bernado (Ávila) after he was struck on the head by a tile that fell off his own house due to the wind. And a 54-year-old homeless woman, who was sleeping rough in the municipality of Gandia, passed away last night due to the conditions, the local council has confirmed.
In the Balearic Islands, there have been new records in terms of the height of the waves, reaching more than eight meters high in Sa Dragonera. The worst conditions are due to hit the north of the Murcia region.
In total there are seven red alerts today due to the weather conditions across Spain, in the provinces of Teruel, Albacete, Murcia (snow), Barcelona, Girona and Tarragona (sea conditions) and Valencia, Castellón and Alicante (snow and sea).
At least 120 municipalities in Valencia have suspended classes due to the adverse conditions, while one section of the A-7 freeway has been closed and there are delays to train services. The Palacio de Justicia courthouse in Alcoi, Alicante has also closed, given that the snow is affecting access to the city.
“This is what Almansa woke up to, with a large amount of snow, after hours of non-stop snowfall. There are a number of problems on the roads in the ares.”
Rainfall has seen the Vernissa, Serpis and Gorgos rivers swell, while in coastal areas such as Altea seawater has flooded into residents’ parking garages.
Fire crews in Alicante are working to bring electricity supplies back online, in conjunction with energy firm Iberdrola. The snow has cut off a number of municipalities, including La Font de Figuera and Moixent, located in inland Valencia.
The regional secretary for security and emergencies, José María Ángel, called for the public to exercise caution when venturing outside given the nature of the conditions. “This is three phenomena in one: wind, rain and snow.”
The ports of Valencia and Gandia have been closed to shipping traffic as a precaution, while the Alicante-Elche airport has also been closed, causing the cancellation or diversion of 190 flights.
A red weather alert has been raised in the Altiplano area in the north of Murcia, after nearly 20 centimeters of snow fell on Monday. Other areas of the southeastern region also saw snowfall on Sunday, including Campo de San Juan, Inazares, Totana and Jumilla. Various municipalities have canceled school classes.
The regional government in Castilla-La Mancha has also closed schools in Hellín, Almansa and Alcaraz in Albacete, given the forecast of snow.
English version by Simon Hunter.