Coldest weather for 20 years causes chaos
27 January 2005, MADRID-Spain is experiencing the worst cold snap in 20 years with heavy snow and ice patches causing widespread disruption on roads, trains services and to flights.
27 January 2005
MADRID-Spain is experiencing the worst cold snap in 20 years with heavy snow and ice patches causing widespread disruption on roads, trains services and to flights.
Angel Rivera, head of Spain's Forecast Service, said: "Spain has not lived through a cold snap of such intensity, spread over such a wide area of the country, since the mid-1980s."
Rivera said records showed temperatures had not dipped so low since 1985.
"It is not a situation which happens often," he added.
Even in Melilla, the Spanish province in north Africa, there were snowfalls.
Rivera said Spain did not appear to be ready for such harsh weather.
In Barcelona and in surrounding areas of Catalonia in north-east Spain, temperatures reached minus five Celsius – the lowest for 20 years.
In Castellon, also in north-east Spain, temperatures fell to 1.6 degrees below zero – the lowest since 1986.
Icy winds had helped to keep temperatures from falling even lower, said Rivera.
Temperatures were expected to fall as low as 15 degrees below freezing on Thursday night.
Albacete, in southern Aragon in western Spain and in the area north of Granada, were expected to be the coldest parts of Spain, with temperatures dropping to between minus 12-15 Celsius.
In many parts of central Spain, temperatures had fallen to an average of between 10-11 Celsius below zero.
Dozens of roads were blocked by heavy snow along the Portuguese-Spanish border as a cold snap engulfed much of Europe.
Trucks were stranded heading to northern Spain or central Europe, said Antonio Almeida, head of the Portuguese gendarmerie.
He said Portuguese authorities were only allowing through trucks travelling to Salamanca, Madrid or southern Spain.
Heavy snowfalls and ice on the roads had forced authorities to close three-hundred roads in mountainous regions of northern Spain.
Major national routes through Burgos, Palencia, Granada, Guadalajara, Soria, Toledo, Cantabria, La Rioja, Leon and Lerida have also been closed or are severely restricted.
Train services between Madrid-Irún, Madrid-Santander, Irán-Bilbao-Galicia, Irún-Salamanca and Barcelona-Bilbao have also been badly disrupted.
RENFE asked travellers to all 902 240 202 to check services.
Flights to or from Madrid and Barcelona to Granada have been cancelled or diverted.
Some flights have been diverted to Malaga.
Almost a thousand people had to spend Wednesday night in a sports centre and a college after becoming stranded in their vehicles in the town of La Cabrera, near Madrid.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news