World, Europe

Deadly storm devastates Spain’s Mediterranean coast

6 people confirmed dead, 4 still missing

Alyssa McMurtry  | 22.01.2020 - Update : 23.01.2020
Deadly storm devastates Spain’s Mediterranean coast

OVIEDO, Spain 

Storm Gloria continues to batter Spain on Wednesday and has already caused several deaths, major flooding and significant damage throughout the country. 

The northeastern region of Spain has been the hardest hit, and although forecasters originally said the storm would ease up by Wednesday, it is coming around again and heavy rains are expected throughout the evening and overnight.

The winter storm has claimed six victims so far and dozens of injuries. Local media report that at least four others have been reported missing, including a British woman in Ibiza.

EU satellite images show that the vast majority of the Ebro River delta, a biodiverse natural park and rice-producing region on the Mediterranean, is now almost completely underwater.

A study by the local government estimates that due to climate change, 50-80% of the delta will permanently disappear by the end of the century, but this is only being previewed today.

Quim Torra, the president of Catalonia, called it a “catastrophic situation” in a press conference.

Since Gloria hit Spain on Monday, school has been canceled for thousands of students and travel has been complicated due to various airport, train and road closures.

The storm has also caused the highest waves ever recorded in the Western Mediterranean Sea -- 8.44 meters (27.69 feet), according to the Spanish government.

Hurricane-strength wind gusts, river flooding and heavy precipitations are also contributing to storm's trail of destruction.

Some mountainous regions have also been hit with record-breaking amounts of snow. When it melts, it will put further pressure on the overflowing rivers.

Northeastern and some of southern Spain will still continue to be at risk for heavy rains and large waves on Thursday, according to the official meteorological service.

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