Storm Gloria batters Spain with high winds and snowfall

MADRID  – Powerful Storm Gloria lashed parts of Spain on Sunday (Jan 19) with high winds, heavy rain and snow, forcing the closure of Alicante airport and killing one man in the northern region of Asturias.

Gloria was set to intensify overnight and persist at least until Tuesday, with Valencia and the Balearic Islands bearing the brunt, according to the Aemet national weather agency.

Aemet declared a red alert across 10 provinces in expectation of winds of up to 130kmh, seven-metre waves and heavy snowfall.

Airport operator Aena SA said it was to close Alicante airport for 24 hours from 1200 GMT, disrupting nearly 200 flights.

Gloria also brought snowstorms across the north of the country. In Asturias a man was killed after being hit by a vehicle on a snowbound road, a spokeswoman for the emergency services said. media reported he was struck while fitting chains to his car.

In Barcelona, authorities warned to stay away from beaches to avoid being swept away by surf. Public parks were closed across Madrid.

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