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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Storm lashes Spain, Portugal and France

Storm lashes Spain, Portugal and France

A man cleans up after flooding in Madeira, Portugal, last week
Madeira was still cleaning up after fatal floods last week
Powerful winds have hit parts of Spain, Portugal and France, causing serious damage, officials said.
As winds of up to 140km/h (87mph) lashed parts of Spain, the interior minister warned people to stay inside, avoid driving and postpone walks.
The weather was blamed for three deaths - one in each of the countries.
Portugal's Madeira island, which is reeling from downpours which killed dozens of people last week, was also hit by the fresh storm.
All of Portugal was placed on orange alert - the second highest - by civil protection authorities.
A falling tree killed a boy in northern Portugal, authorities said, according to AFP.
'No woodland walks'
Spain's Canary Islands, particularly La Palma, Gran Canaria and Tenerife, were hit by the storm, although there was not much damage.
Some lampposts were blown over and flights cancelled on Friday.
"This is not the weekend to go walking in the woods, watching the waves or repairing the tiles on your roof-tops," Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said.
Four French departments were placed on red alert, and 66 out of 95 were on orange alert for 24 hours from Saturday evening.
A man was also killed by a falling tree in the the southern Pyrenees region, police said.
Spain's north-western region of Galicia, the Basque country, Castilla y Leon and Cantabria were also on high alert.
Forecasters expected winds of up to 160km/h (100mph) in those regions.
An elderly woman was killed when a wall collapsed on her in Galicia, AFP reported.
Spain had 20,000 officials on alert to try to prevent or repair any damage, while the airport authority warned of possible delays or cancellations.

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