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Eight Dead As Storm Elsa Batters Europe

By Sarah Turnnidge

At least eight people are known to have died as a powerful storm continues to wreak havoc across Europe.

Since Wednesday, Storm Elsa has brought flooding and destruction across western parts of the continent, with Spain and Portugal most severely impacted by the extreme weather.

Dramatic pictures from the west coast of Ireland also reveal the strength of the storm, whilst parts of France have also see widespread damage as a result of the high winds.

In the southern region of Andalusia, Spain, a spokesman for the emergency services said they had recovered the body of a windsurfer in the province of Huelva, and a second man died in Granada attempting to ford a swollen river in his car.

In Madrid a woman died on Saturday after being injured by a piece of falling masonry dislodged by strong winds in the city centre on Friday.

The arrival of Storm Fabien on Saturday brought a fresh round of high winds and heavy rainfall to the region, just as Storm Elsa, which hit the Iberian peninsula on Wednesday, began to subside.

Spain’s civil defence agency said the latest front could bring winds of up to 140 km per hour (85 mph) and waves of up to 9 meters (30 feet), to the country’s northwest Atlantic coast.

However, the effects of the storms have been felt across the peninsula.

On Friday a person died in a landslide in Asturias, a second was killed when a stone wall crumbled in Galicia and a third person was swept away by floodwaters in Castile and Leon, a government spokeswoman said.

In Portugal, one man died in Montijo, near Lisbon, on Thursday after a tree fell on his truck, and a second man was killed in Castro Daire, northern Portugal, when his house collapsed, officials said.

Portugal’s civil protection authority said on Saturday the heavy rain and strong winds had felled trees and caused flooding and damage to infrastructure.

More than 250 people were evacuated from their homes in villages in central Portugal on Saturday due to rising river waters, Portuguese news agency Lusa said.

On Wednesday eyewitnesses in Ireland shared videos of the rising waters on social media, including pictures of cars being swept away during flood in Salthill, Galway.

Stay safe everyone… #galway#salthill#StormElsapic.twitter.com/WDRzbekOSw

— Sophia’s Library (@soelvyra) December 18, 2019

Such respect for all the members of the search and rescue teams out tonight – doing incredible work keeping people safe in these dangerous conditions #StormElsapic.twitter.com/21RKvODZXd

— Laura Costello (@lauracostello_) December 19, 2019

#StormElsa RIP Saltill car park pic.twitter.com/4QULGFl7YD

— Carol of the Bells ❄️ (@skyuuped) December 18, 2019

The severity of the storm had not been anticipated, and Met Eireann issued an orange wind warning on Wednesday evening for counties Galway and Mayo, with gusts of up to 120km per hour (75mph) forecast just an hour before it came into effect.

Via:: https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/storm-else-europe-fabien-eight-dead_uk_5dff364ae4b05b08bab6c04a