Strong winds continued to affect the region of Valencia over the weekend, with the worst of the weather coming on Friday and Saturday and including gusts of over 100 km/h.
Early on Saturday morning gusts of 115 and 113 km/h were recorded in Vilafranca and Fredes in the province of Castellón, and further south in the province of Alicante wind speeds were well over 70 km/h in Elche and Orihuela: at Alicante-Elche airport landing and take-off were made difficult by gusts which reached a peak of 98 km/h.
On Monday morning the situation had calmed down after a weekend during which the 112 emergency services line had received well over 500 wind-related calls, but the State meteorological agency Aemet is reinstating yellow alert on Tuesday between 6.00 and 18.00 throughout the Comunidad Valenciana, and on Wednesday the province of Castellón is once again on alert all day.
At the same time, those in the Costa Blanca and the rest of the Comunidad Valenicana should be ready for some cold temperatures over the rest of the week, as the gales of the weekend will be replaced by calm but distinctly fresh weather.
The most serious incident in terms of casualties took place in Elche, where two people were injured by one of the dozen palm trees which were blown down, while in Alicante another seven trees were uprooted and the strongest gusts of wind in the province were in Agres (126 km/h) and Pego (101 km/h).
In Benidorm children’s sports events had to be cancelled, concern for the participants’ wellbeing reaching a peak when the sports centre had to be cordoned off after the main sign on the building was blown off, and the town’s port was also closed, along with the neigbouring one of La Vila Joiosa.
Trees were also blown down in Torrevieja, Pilar de la Horadada, Callosa de Segura and Orihuela, all in the Vega Baja, and in the city of Alicante various similar incidents were reported. The situation was the same throughout the provinces of Valencia and Castellón, and in the city of Valencia all public parks, gardens and cemeteries were closed on Saturday to avoid danger to members of the public from falling trees.
Two lorries were overturned in La Font de la Figuera, and the inauspicious start for flights at the new airport of Castellón continued when the privately chartered plane carrying the players and staff of Villarreal football club was forced to use Valencia airport instead by the gale force winds. At the football stadium in Sollana, meanwhile, two floodlights were blown down, and in Silla the strong winds and the low water level in the Albufera freshwater lagoon left the port canal empty of water.
The Mediterranean coastal regions of Spain are not renowned for their bad weather, but the storms of the weekend and the temperatures forecast over the coming week are a reminder that even in this part of the world there is a winter!
Image: Strong winds whipped up sand into a stinging sandstorm in some coastal areas. Copyrighted image. Full or partial reproduction prohibited. Efe
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