Seven dead in Spain as winter storms lash coast
A Spanish town has been engulfed in thick marine foam as a tidal surge along the Catalan coast swept at least two miles inland.
Storm Gloria has claimed at least eight lives since it began pummelling the region with rain, snow and hail on Monday, leaving more than 200,000 people without power, levelling buildings, destroying rice paddies and triggering weather alerts in more than 30 provinces.
Three people are still reported missing, including a 25-year-old British man in Ibiza and another who fell into the sea while trying to moor his boat at a Costa Brava port. Waves reached a record 13.5m, port authorities said.
It was described as the worst storm since 2003 “and likely of this century”, said the head of Barcelona’s beach services, Dani Palacios.
In Tossa del Mar, residents toiled to sweep thick carpets of sea foam from the streets, as footage showed angry flurries blowing through the air and coating the walls of buildings to a height of several metres.
Created as rough seas churn disintegrating organic matter such as algae, sea foam is usually harmless to humans and typically indicates a productive offshore ecosystem. But depending on the algae present, as bubbles within the foam pop they can release certain airborne toxins which can irritate eyes and lungs, according to the US National Ocean Service.
Coming just months after Spain experienced deadly flooding in September, the storm wrought devastating consequences as it moved inland.
A body was found in an Alicante river, Spanish police said, while another person died after a building collapsed in nearby Alcoy, according to a rescue services official.
A man working in a greenhouse was killed as the glass structure was pounded by hail, an Almeria mayor told Efe news agency. Valencian authorities blamed the death of a homeless man on the storm causing temperatures to plummet.
As the flooding surged inland, seawater engulfed one of the country’s most important wetlands – the Ebro delta – inundating thousands of hectares of rice plants.
One dead, five missing after snowmobiles fall through ice in Canada
Five French tourists missing after deadly Quebec snowmobile accident By Denise Paglinawan•A helicopter carrying provincial police officers from the Surete du Quebec searches an area for five missing French snowmobilers off Beemer IslandBy Denise Paglinawan TORONTO (Reuters) – A tour guide died and five French tourists were missing after a group of snowmobilers plunged through the ice into the water near Québec’s Lac-Saint-Jean Tuesday night, police said.Eight French snowmobilers, along with their guide, were hiking near St-Henri-de-Taillon when the accident happened, police said on Twitter on Wednesday.Three tourists were being treated for shock in a hospital in Alma, media reported. Their guide, a man in his forties, was recovered from the water by firefighters and taken to a hospital, but died Wednesday morning. Five tourists were missing.The Lac-Saint-Jean region is popular with tourists during the winter. According to the Montreal Gazette, 20 people were killed in snowmobile accidents between 2010 and 2019 while visiting Quebec, including six tourists from France.Most of the victims died after losing control of their snowmobiles on marked trails, the paper said.Police said a search was under way for the five tourists.(Reporting by Denise Paglinawan; editing by Nick Macfie)