Cold snap brings Spain lowest temperatures in 20 years

Cold snap brings Spain lowest temperatures in 20 years”

The State Metereological Agency (Aemet) said up to 20-30 cm (7-8 inches) of snow fell in Madrid on Saturday, the most since 1971.

The problems caused by snow at Barajas airport in Madrid have been compounded by sheet ice as temperatures dropped overnight to 13 below zero, while in the centre of the city, in the Retiro park, a minimum of -7ºC was recorded and the temperatures showed minus 12 in nearby Pozuelo de Alarcón.

The government has insisted the travel chaos will not affect the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 350,000 doses due to be doled out nationwide on Monday.

Grande-Marlaska told reporters that the government had deployed all the resources it had available and he thanked the members of Spain's Military Emergencies Unit (UME) for their efforts in clearing roads and keeping access to hospitals safe. The distribution of the jabs to all regions was "guaranteed", he added.

Madrid's worldwide airport suspended flights until Sunday night.

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.

One man was filmed being pulled on a sled by dogs while others celebrated the snow by singing and dancing a congo in the central Puerta del Sol square.

The streets were more deserted than on Sunday, where despite the calls to stay at home, many Madrilenians had gone out - on foot or on skis - to play in the snow or to go shopping, giving rise to long queues in front of the rare open supermarkets.

Members of the military walk through snow in downtown Madrid Spain Sunday January 10

In Madrid's residential Prosperidad neighbourhood few people who ventured out walked slowly, some using canes or sticks to support themselves and prevent themselves from slipping and falling.

In order to clear the streets, the Madrid region has distributed 277 tonnes of salt to the various municipalities in the area and must receive some ...

One man and a woman in a vehicle drowned after a river burst near Malaga in the south, while two homeless people froze to death in Madrid and Calatayud in the east, officials said.

A total of 138 roads in the country remained cut off Monday while almost 700 were "affected" by the bad weather, said the Ministry of the Interior.

For a second day running, the Madrid metro operated around the clock so essential workers could get to their jobs.

Four stations were providing shelter, food and blankets to the homeless.

Many long-distance train lines were still not operating Monday morning between Madrid and cities like Barcelona, Zaragoza or Salamanca and the resumption remained partial for the network of suburban trains.

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