Madrid (Reuters)-Storm Filomena caused travel chaos throughout Spain. Four people were killed in Spain. The biggest snowfall in decades covered Madrid and forced the authorities to mobilize troops to rescue trapped motorists.
Rescuers reached 1,500 people trapped in the car, while skiers glided down Gran Via, which is usually one of the busiest streets in the capital. Other residents of Madrid used this peculiar snowstorm to ski on the road or hit each other with snowballs.
Authorities say that near Málaga in southern Spain, the river washed up its banks and two homeless people were frozen to death, one in Madrid and the other in the eastern city of Calatayud.
In response to these incidents, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia tweeted: “The royal family wants to express condolences to the victims of the storm…and asks people to be extra vigilant about the risk of snow accumulation.”
Home Secretary Fernando Grande Marasca urged Spaniards to avoid basic travel. He said: “We are facing the strongest storm in the past 50 years.”
Grande-Marlaska said more than 650 roads were blocked by snow, and some drivers were trapped in their cars from Friday night to Saturday.
Patricia Manzanares (Patricia Manzanares) has been stuck in a car on Madrid’s M-40 motorway since 7pm last Friday. She told RTVE TV: “I’m stuck here, no Water or any other help”.
Aena, which controls the country’s airports, said Madrid’s Barajas airport, which was closed on Friday night, will remain closed for the rest of Saturday. It said that at least 50 flights to Madrid, Malaga, Tenerife and Ceuta (a Spanish territory in North Africa) were cancelled.
The National Weather Service said it was the biggest snowfall in Madrid since 1971, and the meteorologist José Miguel Venus of Spain’s National Radio said that the capital had fallen 25 cm to 50 cm (10 to 20 inches). , He said it was the largest snowfall since 1963.
La Liga said in a statement that the match between Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao, originally scheduled to start at 1515 GMT on Saturday, was postponed.
Reporting by Graham Keeley; Editing by Frances Kerry and David Holmes