Madrid sees heaviest snowfall in 50 years as storms snarl travel in Spain
Spain’s interior ministry said three people had died in historic snowstorms that struck multiple regions on Saturday.
Storm Filomena blocked roads, particularly in the centre of the country.
Capital Madrid seeing its heaviest snowfalls since 1971.
Forecasters warned there was more to come on Saturday as five regions were put under red alert.
Madrid’s Barajas airport was shut down late Friday and hundreds of motorists were left stranded.
The AEMET weather agency described the situation as “exceptional and most likely historic”.
Another 20 centimetres (nearly eight inches) was forecast to fall Saturday in Madrid and central Spain‘s lower plains, with up to 50 centimetres at higher altitudes.
Before the snowfall began Thursday morning, temperatures had already plummeted to an unofficial record low of -34.1 degrees Celsius (-29.38 Fahrenheit) at a ski station in the central Pyrenees on Wednesday.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez also tweeted to call on people to stay indoors and follow the instructions of the emergency services.
Madrid’s emergencies agency said it had worked all night to help trapped motorists, freeing a thousand vehicles. They asked others still stuck to be patient.