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Storm ravages parts of Catalonia

Properties left without power after strong winds and heavy rain sweep across country

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07 January 2018 01:10 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

Heavy rains and strong winds have swept across Catalonia, damaging buildings and leaving properties without power in some areas.

In Terrades and Cistella, of the Alt Emporda region in the northern part of the country, around 232 houses have been left without electricity in the aftermath of the storm. The fire brigade received warnings on Sunday morning of structural damage to properties, as many people took to social media to upload photos including battered rooftops.

After the storm

In the town centre of Cistella, awnings had crushed two vehicles and containers laid strewn about a main square.

Carolina Sanmartín, a local restaurant owner, recalled how this unprecedented weather came as a shock. “It has been really scary,” she said. When the storm hit, she did not know what was going on. “Suddenly we heard a great smash, and we saw how the kitchen extractor went flying, taking part of the roof with it.”

Unprecedented

The area is used to its fair share of stormy weather, but even so the mayor of Cistella, Enric Gironella, admitted that he had “never seen” a phenomeonon such as this. “We are accustomed to strong storms, but never before could I have imagined something like this,” he said.

The extent of the damage will take days to calculate, Gironella explained. According to him, there are many damaged buildings, with farmers and retailers in the area being especially affected.

High water

The storm was particularly strong in Terra Alta, in southern Catalonia, specifically in Horta de San Joan where 93 litres of rain fell per square metre, according to Meteocat. Some streets in the municipality remained covered in a two centimetre layer of hailstones at midday. According to the mayor, nobody has been injured, even though flooding occurred in some of the lower parts of the municipality.

Elsewhere in the Tarragona region, Margalef saw 30.7 litres of rainfall per square metre, once the storm had run its course, while other towns such as Batea and Ulldemolins saw around 20 litres per square metre.

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  • Horta de San Joan after the storm (by ACN)