Ongoing storms across the three European nations, Spain, Portugal, and France have killed at least eight people. Storm Elsa hit southern Europe on Wednesday before increasing its intensity later on Thursday. It was followed by a second storm, Fabien. Both the storms have damaged buildings, cut power lines, and shut roads.
On Friday, a 68-year-old Dutchman reportedly drowned while windsurfing in rough weather in Huelva province. On Saturday, as reported by Spain’s internal ministry, a 32-year-old South Korean woman died after being stuck on the head by falling debris from a building in central Madrid.
On the same day, the Government of Andalusia, an autonomous region in Spain reported that another man had died after his car was swept away by a flooded river near the town of Huéscar in the southern province of Granada. The storms have flooded rivers, brought down power lines and disrupted rail and air travel across the region.
Along with storm Elsa, Storm Fabien has also caused major disruption. It has already brought winds of 170km (105 miles) per hour to Galicia in northwestern Spain, forcing the cancellation of 14 flights and diversion to 13 flights, according to Spanish airport operator Aena.
Local officials in Galicia also stated that around 8,000 households in Galicia were without power due to the winds. Parks and cemeteries were also closed in Bordeaux in southwestern France while the Arlette Gruss circus, which had set up a big tent in the city’s main square, cancelled three performances.
Spain’s National Weather office announced a red alert on the entire coast of Galicia and neighbouring region of Asturias earlier on Saturday whereas France’s weather office placed 14 regions in the southwest of the country on orange alert.
Officials on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica have also closed the island’s airports as well as ferry services to the mainland amid the storm on Sunday. Nearly 10,000 homes are still without power in Rhône-Alpes after storms hit the French region on Thursday.