Stormy start to February in Europe

Onlookers watching rough seas at Gijon off Spain’s Asturian coast were forced to run for their lives when a huge wave crashed down upon them. Storms have hit several regions of northern Spain, with waves reported up to 10 metres high. Torrents of sea water flooded into the streets of the tourist town of San Sebastian. And as government ministers inspected the damage in the Basque Country, the search was continuing for a teenage boy swept out to sea by a giant wave in Galicia. Italy, too, has had a stormy start to February . In Sicily, two women and a seven-year-old girl died when their car was swept away by an overflowing river. The whole country has been battered by bad weather since Friday, accompanied by torrential rain causing floods, including at Fiumicino near Rome. The Italian Alps meanwhile have seen heavy snowfall. And there has been no shortage of the white stuff in Slovenia. A quarter of households were said to be without electricity on Monday after blizzards and frozen temperatures wreaked havoc on power lines and roads. With more than 40 percent of schools shut, one newspaper called it the worst devastation in living memory. Help from the EU’s civil defence team has been requested in the form of generators for the affected areas, the government said on its website.They were reportedly being dispatched urgently from Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany.