Storm Gloria death toll at 13 as Spanish government calls emergency meeting to deal with aftermath

Bonnie Christian
AFP via Getty Images

The violent storm that has lashed parts of Spain with heavy rains, powerful winds and huge waves has now killed at least 13 people.

Spanish authorities said four people were still missing after Storm Gloria triggered floods, collapsed bridges and swept away roads.

A 25-year-old British man is feared to have been swept out to sea as the storm swept Ibizia.

Catalan authorities confirmed two more deaths on Thursday night after a man was swept out to sea while fishing in the coastal town of Ametlla de Mar and another was found dead in his car after floods in Cabaces.

Strong winds blow thick sea foam through the streets of Tossa De Mar, Catalonia (SILVIA RAGOLTA SOMS via REUTERS)

The national weather authority said the storm had begun to recede but more than 100 roads remained closed and tens of thousands of students were kept out of school.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said: "I think what's important right now is that we're all united, that we work shoulder-to-shoulder and cooperate, as we are doing.”

Noting that the storm had hit just as the area readied itself for the tourist season, Mr Sanchez said his government had called an emergency meeting for Friday to help reestablish normality, guarantee security and immediate and medium-term needs.

Winds of up to 90mph and waves up to 13.5 metres high slammed into seafront shops and wiped out beaches and boardwalks in parts of the peninsula on Sunday.

Frothy sea foam carpeted several streets in the small town of Tossa de Mar near Barcelona.

Hundreds of thousands of people were left without power as the storm covered roads in snow, flooded farmlands and poured saltwater into the Ebro delta in northeastern Spain, swallowing thousands of hectares of rice paddies.

A 69-year-old man was pulled into the sea by a wave in Catalonia and another died in the province of Almeria as hail pounded a greenhouse where he had been working.

The prime minister said that while every meteorological phenomenon could not be attributed to climate change, it was evident that it was having an impact.

"Public administrations have to reflect on how to shift gears and focus our economic resources and public policies... on a new element - and that is climate change," Mr Sanchez said

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