Storm Filomena: historic snowfall kills three in Spain

Filomena swept through Spain, causing exceptional snowfall. The storm that hit the country, paralyzing in particular Madrid, caused the death of three people, announced Saturday, January 9 the Spanish Minister of the Interior.“If, despite the extremely difficult weather conditions, the number of incidents is relatively small, we deplore the deaths of three people”Fernando Grande-Marlaska said during a press conference, without providing details.

Some 20 centimeters of snow on average are still expected to fall on Saturday in Madrid and the central plateau of the country and up to 50 centimeters could cover the highest areas in this area. Storm Filomena will move northeast on Sunday, which will lead to less snowfall even though temperatures will remain unusually low.

According to the meteorological agency Aemet, which has placed five regions in the center of the country, including Madrid, on red alert, this situation is “exceptional”. Traffic on about 400 roads in the country is difficult, and hundreds of truckers were stranded across the country on Friday evening. Three hundred of them had already had to spend the night from Thursday to Friday in a parking lot near Cuenca, in the center of the country.

It had been 50 years since the capital had experienced such snowfall. “The situation is extremely serious”, warned its mayor José Luis Martinez-Almeida on Twitter, calling on residents not to leave their homes.

Public bus traffic has been suspended in the city, as has garbage collection, and parks are closed. Barajas International Airport will remain closed all day Saturday, “for security reasons”. Rail traffic between Madrid and Valencia is also disrupted, according to the Renfe railway company.

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