Massive storm devastates Spain and Mallorca

Published:  21 Jan at 6 PM
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Spanish storm Gloria has caused freezing temperatures, snow, flooding, huge waves and three deaths.

For British expats who emigrated to Spain in order to get away from the UK’s generally miserable weather patterns, Storm Gloria’s sweep across 30 Spanish provinces is a dread reminder that global warming isn’t country-specific. The mega-storm put more than 30 regions on high alert, sweeping in with unexpected fury and causing three deaths to date. Freezing temperatures and heavy inland snowfalls saw citizens and expats alike hunkering in their homes, and howling winds measured at over 71 mph closed airports, sent massive 26-feet high waves onto shores and cut off communities when roads became impassable.

The Atlantic storm’s next target was the island of Mallorca, a favourite with expat retirees but hit yesterday after its government had declared a red extreme weather alert. Freezing cold temperatures, snowfall, heavy rain and dangerously high ocean levels saw holidaymakers, expatriates and locals hiding in their homes as the winds tore at roofs and gardens. One massive wave, recorded as having been twice as high as a double-decker bus, crashed down on Sa Dragonera’s beach, creating a record for the highest wave ever seen on the island, and gusting wind speeds of 110 kmph kept residents indoors until the storm finally passed.

As if the above wasn’t enough, torrential rains caused rivers to burst their banks, closing roads and threatening property as well as causing road chaos in five separate districts including Pina, Sant Llorenc and Alaro. Trees were blown down or washed away, properties damaged and all maritime traffic including the ferries was cancelled. Mallorca is no stranger to destructive weather patterns, with October 2018’s storms devastating the popular island, killing 13 people and destroying a large number of homes.
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