Madrid, Jan 10 (AFP/APP): After the worst snowstorm in decades, Spanish officials were racing Sunday to clear the roads of snow before a cold snap transforms them into icy death traps.
Storm Filomena killed three people during its passage through Spain and kept emergency services workers and army snow ploughs busy through Saturday freeing 2,500 drivers trapped in their vehicles. The storm also brought heavy rains before moving through eastern Spain into southern France.
Spain’s weather forecasters AEMET predicted heavy frost overnight Sunday to Monday in large parts of Spain. In mountainous areas temperatures would drop below -10 celsius (14 Fahrenheit), conditions that could last until Thursday, the agency added. Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said Sunday that the danger was that the piles of snow could transform into ice because of the unprecedented low temperatures expected.
But despite the conditions, he said, the country’s vaccination campaign against the coronavirus would go ahead as scheduled, with 350,000 doses due to be delivered on Monday.
A fleet of snow-ploughs and gritters were out on the streets of Madrid Sunday where the city’s mayor, Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida, said Sunday there was not a minute to be lost.
“Our aim is to make the most of every minute before Monday when the drop in temperature happens,” Martinez-Almeida told Sexta television late Saturday.
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