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  • People walk during the Storm Gloria in Morella, Spain.

    People walk during the Storm Gloria in Morella, Spain. | Photo: Reuters

Published 23 January 2020

Local authorities confirmed 13 deaths and that hundreds of thousands were left without power as the storm covered roads in snow, flooded farmlands and poured saltwater into the Ebro delta in the northeastern region of the country

The Spanish government will hold an emergency meeting on Friday to deal with the impact of Storm Gloria that has caused heavy rains, powerful winds and huge waves, and killed at least 13 people in their Mediterranean coasts.

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Catalan authorities confirmed the two latest deaths on Thursday evening: a man swept out to sea while fishing in the coastal town of Ametlla de Mar and another, found dead in his car inland in Cabaces, where there has been flooding. Four people are still missing.

The storm tightened its grip on parts of the peninsula on Sunday, unleashing winds of up to 144 kmh (90 mph) and waves up to 13.5 meters (44 feet) high that slammed into seafront shops, wiping out beaches and boardwalks. Near Barcelona, frothy seafoam carpeted several streets in the small town of Tossa de Mar.

“I think what’s important right now is that we’re all united, that we work shoulder-to-shoulder and cooperate, as we are doing,” PM Pedro Sanchez told reporters after flying over the areas hit by the meteorological phenomenon.

Tomorrow we will have an emergency meeting to activate, from the Government of Spain and in coordination with the Autonomous Communities and affected municipalities, all mechanisms to respond to the damage caused by #BorrascaGloria with the urgency that the neighbors need.

The Socialist leader called the emergency meeting to help reestablish calm, guarantee security and address short- and medium-term needs.

The national weather authority said the storm had begun to recede but more than 100 roads remained closed and tens of thousands of students were kept out of school in the regions of Aragon, Catalunya and Valencia.

Hundreds of thousands were left without power as the storm covered roads in snow, flooded farmlands and poured salt water into the Ebro delta in northeastern Spain, swallowing thousands of hectares of rice paddies.

#Climate Change is aggravating the effects of meteorological phenomena. Public Administrations must reflect on how to apply resources and public policies to respond to this new reality, working on prevention

Sánchez said that while every meteorological phenomenon could not be attributed to climate change, it was evident it was having an impact. “Public administrations have to reflect on how to shift gears and focus our economic resources and public policies ... on a new element - and that is climate change,” he expressed.

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