Big freeze claims one life as Spain shivers

26th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

26 January 2005, MADRID-Heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures have caused widespread disruption across many parts of Spain.

26 January 2005

MADRID-Heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures have caused widespread disruption across many parts of Spain.

The freezing weather has claimed one life, a homeless man who was found dead outside in Girona, in Catalonia, north-east Spain.

In the Balearic Islands, traditionally one of the warmest parts of the country, the biggest snowfall in living memory has closed the airport in Minorca.

In other parts of Spain, a number of mountain roads have been closed and train services have been suspended.

But forecasters have predicted the worst of the cold snap, caused by freezing winds from Siberia, is yet to come.

Angel Rivera, head of the state meteorological office, said even though temperatures will not be so low by then end of the week, it will be Monday before normal January weather is restored.

He said from Wednesday and Thursday a new flow of icy air will pass over Spain.

Rivera said during the night the freezing weather will be more extreme in many areas.

The icy weather will reach the south of Spain and coastal areas.

Strong icy winds were predicted across the north-east and north-west of Spain.

Cantabria and La Rioja, in northern Spain, were expected to take the brunt of the cold weather.

The General Traffic Authority has recommended drivers delay journeys until the weather improves unless they are essential journeys.

Already on Wednesday, 26 routes were closed in the north of the country due to heavy snowfalls and ice on the roads.

These were in La Pedraja and Carrales, in Burgos; Somport and La Espina, in Huesca; San Glorio and Pontón, in León; Piqueras, in La Rioja; Pajares, in Asturias and La Bigornia, in Soria.

Another 134 routes have been badly effected by the adverse weather.

In the Balearic Islands, snowfalls were the third worst in the past 100 years.

The blanket of snow across Minorca – an extremely rare spectacle on the holiday  island – is the heaviest for the past 50 years.

The fishing fleet has stayed in harbour and many roads have been closed, along with the airport.

There are also transport problems in Majorca, with many routes closed.

Train and bus services have been severely affected in Cantabria, Palencia, Burgos, Navarre, the Basque Country, Valladolid  and Álava.

The cold weather has led to a record demand for gas to heat homes across Spain.

Many schools have also been closed.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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