Storm Gloria batters Spain with high winds and snowfall

Environment

People walk past a huge sand shaft built to to protect the Arenal Beach ahead of the upcoming storm “Gloria”, in Javea near Alicante, Spain, January 19, 2020. REUTERS/Stringer

MADRID (Reuters) – Powerful Storm Gloria lashed parts of Spain on Sunday 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 130 kilometers per hour (80 mph), seven-meter (22-foot) waves and heavy snowfall.

Airport operator Aena SA said it was forced to close Alicante airport for 24 hours from 1200 GMT (7.00 a.m. EST), 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. Local media reported he was struck while fitting chains to his car.

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

Reporting by Nathan Allen; Editing by Frances Kerry

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