(Madrid) Flakes are expected to soon lead to cold and snow in Spain, where a historically severe blizzard killed three people on Saturday and continues to cripple part of the country, especially the capital Madrid. Hope for immediate improvement.
Saturday evening snow in the center of the country was a little sparse, moving northeast, and after 36 chaotic hours, Hurricane Philomena wreaked havoc on the road, train and air ax, forcing authorities to ask people to stay home.
“I want to reiterate the call made by the government to be extremely vigilant in the wake of climate change in the coming hours. Let’s follow the recommendations of the police, army, civil defense and emergency services,” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez tweeted.
The King and Queen of Spain shared their “suffering” and their “anxiety” on the same social network, calling for “great vigilance against snow and ice hazards”.
“Despite the very difficult weather conditions, if the number of incidents is relatively limited, we will still explain the deaths of three people,” the interior minister announced at a press conference.
One of the victims was a man buried in the snow in Georgio, northwest of Madrid, while the other two were killed while trying to cross a river in Mijas, near Malaga in the south, where de heavy rains were falling, he said.
Fernando Grande-Marlaska announced Saturday evening that the army’s rescue services and snowplows had cleared all 2,500 motorists stranded on the roads.
“The snowfall will be covered with snow,” the minister insisted, adding that the cold wave, which is below -10 degrees Celsius, will last until Thursday, according to the last bulletin of the Meteorological Services.
Nearly 20,000 kilometers on 650 roads and bridges were affected by traffic problems.
However, the interior minister wanted to reassure the vaccine campaign that the 350,000 new doses scheduled for delivery on Monday would be well-distributed.
Trees on the ground under the influence of snow and wind, abandoned cars and impassable sidewalks: In Madrid, covered with a blanket of snow that had not been heard for half a century, the locals took out their skis as in the famous Puerto del Square. Sled drawn by Soul or five dogs, according to pictures taken by AFP.
“I’ve never seen anything like it, not a car in the city, snow everywhere […] An unforgettable, historic moment, “said AFP, a 56-year-old taxi driver who enthusiastically spoke with Jose Marquez.
Despite calls to limit travel, some were unable to help setting up this unusual ski resort: “I have never seen snow, which is new to me. […] And despite the magic, the pandemic, there are a lot of people on the streets and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say this is a diversion, ”said 28-year-old teacher Liliana Amaya.
On Twitter, Mayor Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida urged residents not to leave their homes: “We are working to clear access to hospitals as soon as possible, but it will be difficult until it snows.”
Isabel Diaz Ayuzo, regional president, announced that all schools, from nursery schools to universities, would be closed on Monday and Tuesday.
Madrid-Barajas International Airport, which has been closed since Friday evening, will remain “at least until noon on Sunday”: “Two runways cleared […] But they are expected to freeze. New situation update tomorrow at 1pm, ”the airport tweeted on Saturday evening.
The Spain-Croatia handball match is scheduled for Saturday at 6pm, while the Spanish soccer championship matches between Atletico Madrid and Bilbao and Elche-Getafe have been postponed indefinitely.
The bus service in the city has been suspended and all trains departing from or going to Madrid have been canceled, the national train agency Renfe reported. The Madrid region said the metro will run “for essential journeys” from Saturday to Sunday.
Along with Madrid, the entire interior of the Iberian Peninsula was affected by the storm due to the interaction between the very humid and relatively gentle air currents coming from the southeast and the very cold air mass.
On Sunday, snowfall is expected to shift to northeastern Spain.