Storm Filomena: Spain smashes snowfall records after historic blizzard

Several areas in Spain have been affected by a rare snowfall that has affected traffic, canceled flights, and resulted in the loss of life. 

It’s not too often that we skiers appear on the streets of Madrid as storm Filomena showered the city with record snowfall. This is the first appearance of snow in a decade.  According to the State Meteorological Agency, 20-30 cm of snow fell over Madrid on Saturday - most since 1971.

The heavy snowfall prompted the closing of Madrid’s International Airport on Friday. Spanish authorities classify this snowfall as the worst in 50 years, resulting in the death of four people. One woman apparently drowned after a river burst close to Malaga while two homeless people - one from Madrid and the other in Calatayud - froze to death. Train services in Madrid were also shut down since Friday. 

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The Spanish government plans to send out convoys with the Covid-19 vaccine accompanied by other food supplies to areas completely cut off by Storm Filomena. Police escorted convoys will ensure the safe shipment of 300,000 Covid-19 vaccines. 

Reuters reports up to 600 roads in central Spain have been affected by the rare blizzard stranding hundreds of travelers at Madrid’s Barajas Airport. Weather forecasters warned of dangerous conditions in the coming days as temperatures drop below minus 10 Celsius (14 Fahrenheit). 

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On Saturday, soldiers were deployed to clear 700 major roads that were deemed impassable. Madrid International Airport resumed flights on Sunday after flight cancellations left many stranded since Friday. 500 people across the city were forced to spend the night in temporary shelters, i.e sports centers.  

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Wanted in Europe, part of the Wanted Worldwide network, is a website in English for expatriates in Europe established in 2006. We cover Europe's news stories that may be of interest to English speaking residents along with tourists as well. Our publication also offers classifieds, photos, information on events, museums, churches, galleries, exhibits, fashion, food, and local travel.
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