Spanish storm leaves one dead, one missing

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A powerful coastal storm with huge waves dragged a Polish woman to her death and left a young French man missing in northern Spain on Friday, officials said.

As the storm battered the coast of northeastern Catalonia, a big wave snatched the 37-year-old Polish woman into the waters in the holiday resort of Lloret del Mar, emergency services said.

Her corpse was found five nautical miles (nine kilometres) down the coast near Blanes later in the morning.

"She was dragged away by a wave as whe walked along the beach," said an emergency services spokesman.

"Emergency services found the body of a woman in Blanes and then she was identified by her clothes and some jewellery," he said.

The French man, identified only as a young person, disappeared after going fishing in a rocky area of the coast of Roses, about 100 kilometres further north.

"Emergency services were activated in the search for the French citizen," the spokesman said.

"He had gone fishing in an area known as the Carretera de Canyelles and according to his friend he did not return," he added.

"This morning we found his fishing rod in a rocky area and began a search of the land and sea with helicopters and specialized vehicles," he said.

Catalonia's emergency services declared a state of alert on Friday because of forecasts for the weekend of heavy rain, rough seas with waves higher than 2.5 metres (eight feet) and strong winds.

The authorities warned people to avoid breakwaters, sea paths and beaches affected by the waves.

© 2012 AFP

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