The word of 20202, the “confinement” re-imposed itself due to nature’s obligation as soon as 2021 is released. The saying “year of snows, year of goods” did not seem very appropriate to the 1,500 people who were trapped in their vehicles due to the virulence of the storm Filomena, which even the Government recognized ” it surprised everyone »by its magnitude. He said it Jose Luis Ábalos, head of Transport in the company of another minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, who appeared twice to give a warning to sailors: «Difficult hours remain. The situation is serious – they said -. And when Filomena subsides, the worst will come with the ice. Next week we will experience difficulties ”, in relation to the meteorological effect produced by the polar cold wave that will enter in a few hours preceded by the storm. For this reason, it was asked not to travel, to postpone all journeys that are not “unavoidable” and to exercise extreme caution, especially in the interior of the country, swept away by the most intense episode that Spain has suffered in half a century. The great storm leaves an unusual fact: the capital of the country is cut off.
Without trains, with rail traffic and Cercanías lines cut off, the Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez airport closed and hundreds of stranded passengers, traffic by road and within the capital is impractical. Only the Metro is open 24 hours a day. Neither in the Madrid region nor in Castilla-La Mancha will there be classes on Monday or Tuesday, for the moment, waiting for other autonomies, such as Aragon, to make their decision today. The State Meteorological Agency insists that five eastern provinces remain on red alert this Sunday, January 10.
Despite the attempts by the authorities of the central, regional and municipal administrations to avoid personal risks, Spain showed that it is not used to this type of winter weather. There was more snow in the capital than in St. Petersburg and that is a seductive sight. It was soon seen in the great arteries of Madrid, where the traffic of fire trucks and ambulances was torpedoed by dozens of passers-by who came out to take a photo, undoubtedly historical. Few could resist despite the mayor, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, he repeats it poignantly: “It’s nice, but it’s also dangerous to go outside,” especially because of the risk of falling cornices and the formation of ice, which can cause a trail of falls.
Apart from the fun that snow brings, Filomena flared up in the mountains of Madrid, where a 54-year-old man lost his life buried by the snow in ZarzalejoAnother 73-year-old man died in Carabanchel, although he disassociated himself from the storm because he suffered a cardiac arrest before collapsing on the snow. In addition, Filomena discharged a huge amount of water in the province of Malaga. Between the towns of Mijas and Fuengirola, two bodies were found from a car where four people were traveling. On Friday night, the current washed away the car; the body of a woman was found around 4:00 in the morning and at 10:30 the discovery of the body of a 45-year-old Spanish citizen was reported. Two other people – one of them a minor – were injured due to the collapse of a wall in Algeciras.
As reported by the Executive, Pedro Sánchez telephoned the presidents of the communities on Saturday most affected and provided the Army to help restore normalcy, as far as possible. One of those devastated regions was Castilla-La Mancha, with 27,000 subscribers without electricity and the capital, Toledo, also paralyzed. Snowplows have great difficulty making their way through its medieval streets.
In total, 657 roads, with almost 20,000 kilometers of the national network, were cut off or affected by the tremendous snowfall, which accumulated 60 centimeters thick in parts of Madrid, where it did not stop snowing for a day and a half almost without interruption.
In its last balance, after 7:00 p.m., the Ministry of the Interior reported that some 1,500 people had had to be assisted by members of the Civil Guard and National Police, a deployment to which the Military Unit of Albacete had already joined on Thursday. Emergency (UME). According to its spokesperson, Aurelio Soto, “No one was going to be left in their cars” and the military deployed their forces overnight on the A-3, A-4 and A-5 with thousands of drivers cornered by snow. The Government denied “improvisation” and “lack of coordination” between administrationsAlthough the Minister of Transport congratulated himself for having acted “with greater rigor” than in previous meteorological phenomena. According to Marlaska, the bagging of vehicles and trucks was activated at different points in the interior of the country, which will allow these transporters to replenish essential supplies (also that of Pfizer’s vaccines against Covid) in convoys organized as of this Monday. Special lanes will be opened on the highways for their transit.
Fifteen hours cornered
The day was especially hard for drivers trapped in areas such as the Madrid ring roads, late on Friday afternoon, who had to be rescued throughout the night. The 112 emergency services helped in 2,300 traffic incidents and 277 accidents. The Army provided blankets and food. The most affected roads were the A-3, A-4, A-5, M-30 and M-40. At five in the afternoon of this exceptional January 9, the storm began to subside. At that time, Filomena gave Madrid a truce and marked a turning point: the rescue of all the drivers was concluded. During the day, the City Council firefighters came with an SUV to help the private vehicles and the drivers of the Municipal Transport Company who were cornered by the storm. Only until early afternoon on Saturday, they performed 730 performances. The City Council enabled 300 hotel beds so that those affected could rest warm while the situation was resolved. From Samur Civil Protection they attended to urgent medical situations such as heart attacks and four deliveries. One of them gave birth to her daughter in her car.
The heavy snowfall completely collapsed the region since Friday and forced the main market, Mercamadrid, to close. The Community recommended consumers not to collect food unnecessarily, with supply difficulties in shopping centers. In the capital, the Christmas lights were left on to prevent it from falling off due to the weight of the snow. Normality, according to the mayor, will not return until the end of next week.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism