Madrid Mayor Says Snowstorm Caused Nearly $2 Billion in Damage

MADRID — Madrid’s mayor on Thursday known as on the central authorities to declare Spain’s capital a catastrophe zone, warning that the injury brought on by final weekend’s snowstorm would value at the very least 1.4 billion euros, or $1.7 billion, to repair.

Mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida instructed a information convention that the catastrophe designation would launch emergency funds and be certain that “all of the individuals who have suffered damages will be compensated as rapidly as potential.”

Madrid has been struggling to reopen its streets to visitors and clear the piles of snow, which coated the town on Friday and Saturday. The storm, named Filomena, brought the heaviest snowfall Madrid has seen in nearly 50 years, dropping greater than a foot and a half of snow on the 6.6 million individuals who dwell within the metropolis and the encircling area.

On Thursday, metropolis corridor officers warned that it could take a number of extra days to clear all of the roads, the duty slowed by freezing climate situations which might be predicted to final till the center of subsequent week. Spain’s climate workplace forecast on Thursday that this 10-day interval of freezing temperatures can be the longest stretch of such climate to hit Madrid in twenty years.

Madrid’s airport was closed for a lot of the weekend and solely resumed its regular flights schedule on Thursday, whereas faculties and sports activities facilities are set to stay closed till Monday.

The snowfall additionally destroyed parks across the capital, with injury recorded for 11,000 of the 17,000 bushes in Retiro Park, in line with native authorities.

Greater than 700 troopers have been despatched to assist metropolis companies clear the snow in Madrid and the neighboring area of Castilla-La Mancha. Regardless of their efforts, 127 roads remained totally closed to visitors on Thursday.

The storm introduced Madrid to a standstill, disrupting transport throughout the nation, simply as Spain was getting into its third wave of the coronavirus pandemic. On Wednesday, Spain’s well being ministry recorded its highest variety of new instances for the reason that pandemic hit Spain final March. The nation’s Covid-19 death toll, greater than 53,000, is likely one of the highest in Europe.

The snow additionally interrupted the nation’s vaccination marketing campaign, which began in late December. In Madrid, many well being care staff have been compelled to work further shifts to cowl for colleagues who couldn’t attain their hospitals due to the snow and ice.

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