Spain weather: Deadly Storm Gloria puts Barcelona on alert as nine missing or killed

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Spain weather: Deadly Storm Gloria puts Barcelona on alert as nine missing or killed 1

Storm Gloria, which yesterday prompted the Foreign Office to issue an ‘extreme risk’ warning to British tourists, has already claimed the lives of four people in Spain. They include a 43-year-old engineer killed on Sunday in front of his wife and two children by an out-of-control van as he tried to put snow chains on his tyres near a ski resort in the northern province of Leon.

Overnight it emerged search and rescue teams are looking for two people missing in the Costa Brava town of Palamos and a small town near Barcelona called Begues.

The man missing in Palamos is understood to have fallen into the water as he tried to berth a boat.

The man who vanished in Begues disappeared after failing to return from a walk. He is believed to be aged around 80.

Three other people reported missing yesterday included a 27-year-old abseiler who became separated from friends in Majorca and a Spanish pensioner whose car was carried away in a flood area as he drove from Benidorm to nearby Callosa d’En Sarria.

Two have yet to be found. The OAP’s vehicle was empty when it was located and searched by firefighters and the search for the abseiler was suspended late yesterday because of bad weather.

Fears another man who went missing yesterday in the eastern province of Castellon could become a Storm Gloria victim, were dispelled overnight after it emerged he had been found safe and well in a rural shelter. He is understood to have vanished after going to check on his cows.

Flash floods in October in Spain claimed the lives of eight people, including two cousins swept away by a wave in Cala d’Or in Majorca.

They followed devastating storms a month earlier, which hit the Costa Blanca hardest and claimed seven lives.

They included a 66-year-old Dutchman whose body was found two days after he vanished on September 15 in Dolores in the province of Alicante.

A British family told at the time how they had to be rescued by the army after becoming trapped in their holiday villa for 12 hours.

Paul and Angie Spencer, from Doncaster, had been staying in Alicante with their four children when a nearby river burst its banks.

Paul said after being rescued: “We knew we were in trouble when the waters rose higher than the kerbs.

“Cars were streaming past, along with furniture, suitcases and even two people who tried to cross the road.

“They just got swept away. Their screams were awful, we don’t know what happened to them.”

The Costa Blanca, Costa Brava and the Balearic Islands have been among the worst affected areas by the latest storm, which has been battering many parts of Spain in the form of high winds, torrential rain and snow since Sunday.

Alicante Airport, closed last week by a roof fire, had to be shut again for a day and a half from Sunday as a precaution.

Yesterday locals in the Costa Brava holiday resort of Tossa de Mar woke up to the surreal sight of sea foam which had invaded part of the old town.

One woman was filmed trying to get into her house in the resort up to her waist in the foam.

Catalonia has been warned to expect more heavy rain this afternoon, increasing the risk rivers in areas like Girona could overflow.

Nine provinces are still on orange or yellow alert because of high winds and waves, snow and the risk from ice and avalanches.

Catalonia’s Interior Minister has described the storm as “exceptional.”

A wave nearly 50ft high and described as record-high for the Balearic Islands was recorded off the holiday island of Menorca at 1pm local time yesterday.

Some supermarkets in Majorca said yesterday they were running short of certain products because sea conditions had affected shipping from the mainland.

The engineer killed on Sunday has been named as Misael Garcia, from Oviedo in Asturias, northern Spain.

The second victim of Storm Gloria was a 54-year-old homeless Romanian woman who died overnight on Sunday from hypothermia.

She was found dead in a park on Monday morning in the Costa Blanca resort of Gandia.

Local reports said the unnamed woman and her husband had refused a social services’ offer of a bed for the night ahead of the storm and had only accepted blankets and food.

The third victim was a man who died after being hit by tiles from a roof in the village of Pedro Bernardo near the cathedral city of Avila.

The 63-year-old was found dead by a neighbour asked to check on him by worried relatives.

A 71-year-old man died from hypothermia in Moixent in the province of Valencia.


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