- Video credit: Robby Geebelen/ESN
A winter storm continues to lash much of Spain, so far leaving seven people dead, 200,000 people without electricity, schools closed and roads blocked by snow.
Massive waves and gale-force winds smashed into seafront towns, damaging many shops and restaurants and flooding some streets.
One video shows a powerful wave crashing over a seafront wall and sending water cascading toward the street and nearby buildings in Cala Ratjada on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca.
Ports on the nearby island of Menorca have been closed for two days, the La Vanguardia newspaper said.
Heavy rains expected later have increased fears that several swollen rivers could break their banks, among them the Onyar river that flows through the northeastern city of Gerona.
The latest death toll comes after the body of a missing man was found in a flooded area near the town of Callosa, in southeastern Spain, the local Valencia regional government said.
It added that a woman was killed when her apartment building partially collapsed in the town of Alcoy, following heavy rains.
In the southeastern town of Nijar, a farmer was found dead in a plastic greenhouse that had been hit by a hail storm, according to the private Spanish news agency Europa Press.
Four other people died between Sunday and Tuesday while searches continue for several missing people.
Since Sunday, the storm has hit mostly eastern areas of Spain with hail, heavy snow and high winds, while huge waves smashed into towns on the Mediterranean coast and the nearby islands of Mallorca and Menorca.
Much of Gerona province was without electricity for several hours Tuesday because of a fault in the power connection with France, emergency services said on Twitter.
Many schools remained closed in the northeastern region of Catalonia as well as the Valencia region further south and the inland region of Aragon, Spanish media said. More than 5,700 pupils have had classes cancelled.
Transport authorities said the bad weather forced the closure of more than 200 roads. While officials in Barcelona said the city’s beaches lost much of their sand due to the high, powerful surf.
Ruben del Campo, spokesman for national weather service Aemet, said he expected that once all data was collected the storm will have been one of the strongest on record.