Snow-struck Madrid struggles with cleanup as severe frost grips Spain

By Elena Rodriguez and Belén Carreño MADRID (Reuters) - Authorities struggled to clear ice and fallen trees from the streets of Madrid on Tuesday and temperatures in parts of Spain hit record lows after a snowstorm wrought havoc across the country at the weekend. Early jubilation at the historic snowfall, which saw skiers gliding through the streets and mass snowball fights, gave way to frustration as most public transport remained stalled and pedestrians avoided the icy streets. 'You in Madrid are not ready for this,' said Demetrio, a Ukrainian living in Madrid, who did not give his last name.

Reuters January 13, 2021 00:14:49 IST
Snow-struck Madrid struggles with cleanup as severe frost grips Spain

Snowstruck Madrid struggles with cleanup as severe frost grips Spain

By Elena Rodriguez and Belén Carreño

MADRID (Reuters) - Authorities struggled to clear ice and fallen trees from the streets of Madrid on Tuesday and temperatures in parts of Spain hit record lows after a snowstorm wrought havoc across the country at the weekend.

Early jubilation at the historic snowfall, which saw skiers gliding through the streets and mass snowball fights, gave way to frustration as most public transport remained stalled and pedestrians avoided the icy streets.

"You in Madrid are not ready for this," said Demetrio, a Ukrainian living in Madrid, who did not give his last name. "If there is snow, it should be cleaned up the next day."

More than 800 soldiers have been deployed to help clear the city, where many roads are still blocked after Storm Filomena felled some 150,000 trees, cut supply lines and left supermarket shelves bare.

Only the occasional police car or taxi braved the city centre, while just 28 of Madrid's more than 200 bus lines were operational.

With waste collection on hold, rubbish bags piled up alongside snowdrifts.

"At my home pipes are frozen so we don't have water ... it's crazy," said 29-year-old media worker Amaia Huerta.

By Monday evening, intercity train services had resumed and Barajas airport had almost returned to capacity.

Fresh produce was still in short supply at three large, central supermarkets on Tuesday afternoon, although the regional government said the situation had begun to normalize after 1,200 delivery trucks reached the city's main wholesale market.

Agricultural association UPA said farmers in the region would lose millions of euros from damage to crops and buildings, and called for extra state aid for the sector.

As the snow turned to ice amid temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius overnight, Madrid's health department reported 2,000 injuries from falls in the past 24 hours and urged people to stay at home.

Outside Madrid, temperatures fell even further during the night, with Spain's lowest, -25.4C, registered in the province of Teruel to the east, a local record.

Two homeless men who died in Barcelona on Monday night were confirmed as the latest victims of cold weather, which has so far killed five, Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska told a news conference.

(Reporting by Emma Pinedo, Belén Carreño, Elena Rodriguez, Guillermo Rodriguez; Writing by Nathan Allen; Editing by Mike Collett-White)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Trump disavows any responsibility for his supporters' Jan. 6 attack
World

Trump disavows any responsibility for his supporters' Jan. 6 attack

By Steve Holland and Andrea Shalal JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md./WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump, facing impeachment on a charge of "incitement of insurrection" on Tuesday disavowed responsibility for his supporters' violent invasion of the U.S. Capitol last week and said his remarks before the siege were appropriate.

Renault and Plug Power to develop fuel-cell commerical vehicles
News & Analysis

Renault and Plug Power to develop fuel-cell commerical vehicles

PARIS (Reuters) - French carmaker Renault and U.S. hydrogen specialist Plug Power have joined forces to develop hydrogen-powered light commercial vehicles, they said on Tuesday. The companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to launch a France-based 50-50 joint venture by the end of the first half of 2021, targeting more than 30% share of the fuel cell-powered light commercial vehicle market in Europe, their joint statement said

Analysis: Tesla's Model Y to emerge disruptor as China EV sales zoom in 2021
News & Analysis

Analysis: Tesla's Model Y to emerge disruptor as China EV sales zoom in 2021

By Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - New models will help electric vehicle sales in China zoom this year, after tepid business in a virus-riddled 2020, and analysts predict Tesla's Model Y pricing will emerge as a major disruptor in the world's biggest car market. Tesla Inc, which became the world's most valuable car maker last year, started selling locally made Model Y SUVs in China this month, for almost a tenth less than gasoline-powered luxury cars with similar market positioning. It set the starting price at 339,900 yuan ($52,376), or 10% below official prices of Daimler's Mercedes GLC, BMW's X3 and Audi's Q5L - all locally made gasoline sport utility vehicles (SUVs) with similar size and positioning.