Storms Fien and Gerard hit the Iberian Peninsula and brought with them heavy snowfall, rain and huge waves. On Wednesday, weather conditions hampered traffic on the roads of Spain and Portugal. In some communes, the roads were so flooded that classes were canceled out of concern for the safety of students.
Winter Wednesday storm arrived in the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula thanks to the storm Fien, bringing with it cold, unstable arctic air masses. Difficult weather conditions took their toll on the inhabitants of Spain and Portugal – in some places there were heavy snowfalls, and in some places there were heavy downpours.
Alerts in Spain
The Spanish National Meteorological Agency (AEMET) has issued orange warnings for heavy snowfall, strong winds and high waves in the north and east of the country. There are also yellow alerts for strong winds and heavy rainfall. According to Spanish forecasters, on Thursday snow will fall above 1,200-1,400 meters above sea level in the northern part of the country. It will also turn white in the Balearic Islands, there it will snow at an altitude of over 600 m above sea level
Heavy snowfall made some roads impassable on Wednesday. There were huge traffic jams on the highways.
The town of Malgrat de Mar, located on the Mediterranean Sea, was hit by gusty winds that caused high waves to form there. As a consequence, this led to flooding and damage to coastal roads.
Communication chaos in Portugal
As a result of the biggest snowfall in years in Portugal, many roads in northern and eastern Portugal were impassable on Wednesday. The greatest difficulties were recorded in the districts of Viseu, Guarda, Castelo Branco, Braganca and Braga. School classes have been canceled in dozens of communes due to difficulties in moving around.
– In addition to supporting the emergency services, clearing snow and salting roads, we also supported private companies in the distribution of food and services and made sure that medical visits were carried out – explained the commander of the fire brigade in the municipality of Montalegre.
Due to the storm on the north-west coast, where the waves exceeded six meters, seven seaports were closed. According to information from the services, as a result of intense snowfall with rain, there was also flooding and overflowing of the banks of the Minho River.
PAP, O Minho, El Pais, ENEX
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/BRAIS LORENZO