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Snow blankets Mallorca as cold grips Spain

Snow covered a street in the mountain village of Valldemossa on Spain's holiday island of Mallorca
Snow covered a street in the mountain village of Valldemossa on Spain's holiday island of Mallorca.

Snow blanketed Spain's holiday island of Mallorca on Tuesday as a winter storm brought strong winds and freezing temperatures to large parts of the country.

The Mediterranean island, which normally experiences mild winters, bore the brunt of Storm Juliette, with especially affected.

In parts of northern Mallorca a metre (three feet) of snow accumulated in 24 hours, said Ruben del Campo, the spokesperson for Spanish national weather office AEMET, calling it an "extraordinary snowfall".

The snow was accompanied by strong winds, with gusts of up to 117 kilometres (73 miles) per hour, according to the weather office, and heavy rains.

The storm dumped more than 100 litres per square metre in several parts of the island, according to local media.

The heavy rain is suspected to have caused several landslides in Palma de Mallorca, the capital of the island, as well as an eight-metre-wide sinkhole on a main avenue of the city.

Known for its picturesque beaches, Mallorca—part of the Balearic Islands which include Ibiza and Menorca—gets more than 300 days of sunshine per year, according to its tourism board.

Heavy rainfall however is common in the autumn and winter although is rare.

The islands were not the only part of Spain to be affected, with temperatures plunging to minus 16 degrees Celsius (3 degrees Fahrenheit) in the northern province of Guadalajara.

The cold weather caused to fall in other places where it is rare such as the northern city of San Sebastian as well as the Mediterranean port of Barcelona.

Del Campo said it was Barcelona's "most intense snowfall" since March 2018.

AEMET said the cold snap, which was caused by a mass of cold air from the Arctic, would continue into Wednesday, with most of the interior of Spain on alert for frigid temperatures.

© 2023 AFP

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