Winter storm drenches Spain with rain, snow, floods

Rivers have burst their banks in northern Spain, tornado temporarily paralyzed Barcelona airport

2021-11-24 23:28:22

OVIEDO, Spain

A cold front that promised to bring heavy precipitations left parts of Spain reeling from flash floods on Wednesday.

In the northern region of Asturias, six rivers have burst their banks, or are on the verge of doing so, after areas were drenched with as much as 100 liters of rain per square meter in a matter of 12 hours.

The amount of water racing through the Sella river, which has already overflowed in several areas, has more than doubled since midnight.

It is now threatening to overtake the main bridge in the touristic town of Cangas de Onis as the rain continues to pour.

The flooding has triggered authorities to evacuate one hospital and two schools in the area.

Paramedics have so far rescued several people who got caught up in the floods.

Similar scenes are playing out in the neighboring region of Cantabria, which has also activated flood warnings.

Flash floods have also emerged around the Mediterranean coast, although the most severe occurred on Tuesday when a tornado forced the Barcelona airport to close for 30 minutes, while another destroyed a gas station in Alicante.

There, the heavy rains were accompanied by strong winds and record amounts of hail in some areas.

Eight of Spain's 17 regions, including Catalonia, remain on alert for heavy snow and rain.

Spain's meteorological agency predicts that the storm system will stick around until at least Friday.