King Felipe VI has urged people across Spain to exercise extreme caution as the country is hit by the heaviest snow it has seen in half a century. Four people have died since Storm Filomena brought massive falls in many parts of the country over the past days.
In a message on the official Twitter account for the Spanish Royal Family, King Felipe and Queen Letizia said they wanted to share the sadness they felt for the victims of the storm and urged ”extreme caution against the risks of accumulations of snow and ice.” They also expressed they interest in the plight of ”those affected” and said they shared the deep concerns of national, regional and local authorities.
Storm Filomena hit Spain on January 8th 2021, with snow quickly carpeting much of the central part of the country. Some areas were deluged with eight inches of snow in less than 24 hours. Traffic in the capital, Madrid, came to a halt while in some areas, military assistance was needed to clear roads. Rail services were also hit with no trains running in or out of the capital. Flights were also suspended at Barajas Airport in Madrid as the bad weather intensified.
In southern parts of Spain, the storm led to rivers bursting their banks. Two people died when their car was swept up in floods near Malaga. Two other people have frozen to death. Hundreds of others need assistance getting food and supplies.
Forecasters expect temperatures in large parts of the country to remain well below freezing for much of the coming week with lows of minus ten predicted in central and north eastern parts of Spain.