On Saturday, a continuous blizzard swept across most of Spain. The amount of snowfall was unusually high. At least four people were killed. Thousands of people were trapped in cars, train stations or airports, thus suspending all services.
The National Weather Service reported that as of 7 am, the snowfall in Madrid reached its lowest level in half a century. According to the meteorological agency AEMET, more than 20 inches of snow fell in the Spanish capital.
The bodies of a man and a woman were recovered by emergency services in Andalusia after being washed away by a flooded river near Fuengirola. The Ministry of the Interior said that another 54-year-old man was killed in a snowdrift in Madrid. The local police station reported that a homeless person in the northern city of Zaragoza died of hypothermia.
On Saturday night, more than half of Spain’s provinces were still suffering from severe weather warnings from Storm Filomena, seven of which were at the highest warning level. In Madrid, for the first time since the system was adopted forty years ago, the authorities have activated a red alert and called on the army to save people from vehicles stuck on everything from small roads to the main roads of the city.
Sandra Morena (Sandra Morena) was trapped on Friday night when she was working as a security guard in a shopping mall overnight shift. After an army emergency rescue unit helped her go on Saturday morning, she walked home.
Morena, 22, said: “Usually I need 15 minutes, but this time it has been frozen for 12 hours, there is no food or water, but crying with other people because we don’t know how we will leave there.”
She added: “Snow can be beautiful, but it’s boring because it’s stuck in the car all night,” she added.
Interior Minister Fernando Grande Malasca said that as of Saturday night, Spanish security services had rescued all the people trapped in the vehicles-more than 1,500 people.
AEMET warned that due to the stagnant cold air mass on the Iberian Peninsula and the arrival of the warmer storm Philomena in the south, some areas will experience snow for more than 24 hours.
The agency said that the storm is expected to drop sharply in the next few days.
Transport Minister Jose Luis Abalos warned: “Snow will turn into ice, and we will enter a situation that may be more dangerous than it is now.”
He added that the priority is to assist those in need, but also to ensure the supply chain of food and other basic commodities.
Ábalos added: “The storm has exceeded our most pessimistic forecast.”
Ábalos said that the Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas International Airport, the main gateway for entering and leaving Spain, will be closed until at least Sunday, after the snowstorm caused machines and workers to do their best to keep the runway free of snow.
The railway operator Renfe said all trains, commuter routes and long-distance passenger trains entering and leaving Madrid, as well as railway lines between the south and northeast of the country, have been suspended.
The Spanish transportation authority said the storm caused severe damage or closed more than 650 roads, urging people to stay indoors and avoid all unnecessary travel.
Nearly 24 hours after the storm began to pour snow in the mountains in the central part of the country, more than 100 roads are still impassable.
The Minister of the Interior said that the Spanish government plans to take additional measures to ensure that the country’s BioNTech-Pfizer coronavirus vaccine can be distributed to the health authorities in the region every week through a police-escorted convoy on Monday.
The cold weather did disrupt the country’s football league and some teams were unable to play. The Saturday match between Spanish league leaders Atletico Madrid and Atletico Bilbao was postponed because the plane carrying the Bilbao team could not land in the capital on Friday and had to turn around.
The Castilla La Mancha and Madrid regions, where 8.6 million people live, announced that schools will be closed for at least Monday and Tuesday.
Although countless branches and even entire trees were overwhelmed by the snow, the blizzard also produced surreal images that delighted many Madrileños, including some brave skiers and a dog sledding. These videos are social Seen in the video widely circulated in the media.
Lucía Valles (Lucía Valles) is a coach of a Madrid ski club. She usually has to travel to distant mountains with her clients. She was excited to see the white snow layer just outside her house.
The 23-year-old said: “I never imagined that this is really a gift.” As she glided across the building of the Prado Museum built at the end of the 18th century, she said: “But I have never photographed so much for me photo.”