Spain shovels its way out of heavy snow dumped by Storm Filomena

Spain, Snow removal patrol

Emergency crews in central Spain have cleared 500 roads and rescued more than 1,500 people stranded in vehicles as the country slowly shovels its way out of its worst snowstorm in recent memory.

Madrid’s Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas International Airport, shut since Friday night, remained closed on Sunday, along with railway lines crossing the capital, and more than 150 roads were still impassable.

The Spanish military have also been deployed to help remove the snow in the streets.

Storm Filomena lost strength as it moved eastwards but authorities were still urging people to remain at home to limit the risk of falls on icy streets ahead of a severe drop in temperatures in the coming days.

Spain’s weather service forecasts temperatures to drop as low as minus 14C (6F) in the eastern province of Albacete by Tuesday.

Army emergency brigades are focusing on clearing access to Madrid’s main fresh food distribution centre and to hospitals as Spain also grapples with the coronavirus crisis, with infections on the increase following the Christmas holidays.

Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said the government will take extra steps to ensure that the country’s weekly shipment of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine on Monday can be distributed to regional health authorities via police-escorted convoys.

There have been more than 51,800 confirmed Covid-19 deaths in Spain.

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