A snowplough clears a road in Urkiola (Vizcaya). / PANKRA NIETO

Storm Fien claims lives of three people in Spain

Temperatures are expected to rise today (Thursday), although there are fears that rapidly melting snow could lead to rivers and streams swelling and bursting their banks in some areas

ANTONIO PANIAGUA MADRID.

The severe weather conditions carried across Spain by storm Fien this week have caused disruption and tragedy in the north of the country.

Low temperatures - thermometers reached -12C in Port Ainé (Lleida) and Cerler (Huesca) on Wednesday - meant snow fell at lower levels than usual, causing traffic problems, roads closed to heavy goods vehicles and school routes cancelled.

Temperatures were expected to rise today (Thursday), although there are fears that rapidly melting snow could lead to rivers and streams swelling and bursting their banks in some areas.

Mallorca drowning

Tragedy struck in Calvià, Mallorca, on Tuesday when a 56-year-old German woman, named as Eva Sieberger, disappeared while swimming in the sea in rough conditions. A search was launched after witnesses reported that a woman and gone into the water and had not come out. Her body was located by Guardia Civil officers on Wednesday morning.

This followed two other deaths caused this week by the storm. The body of an 80-year-old man was found on Monday night in the port of Bermeo, in Vizcaya (Basque Country). He had apparently fallen into a river near his home further inland. The body of a 69-year-old woman was found floating and tangled in branches in the River Valdivia in Palencia.

Meanwhile the emergency services had to carry out various rescues of trapped drivers.

More than 100 roads on the main network around the country were affected, especially in the northern half. Fifteen main roads, totalling 195 kilometres, were in red warning areas and closed to heavy goods vehicles which were forced to park at service stations and wait. Other vehicles had to use chains.