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Powerful hailstorm hits capital Madrid, turning roads into raging rivers, Spain

madrid-hailstorm-august-27-2019

A powerful hailstorm hit Spain's capital Madrid (population 3.2 million) late Monday, August 26, 2019, sweeping away cars, bringing traffic to a standstill and causing flight diversions.

The worst-hit municipality was Arganda del Rey, southeast of the capital, where flash floods turned roads into raging rivers, sweeping away cars. Other areas most affected by the storm include Valdemoro, Pinto, Rivas, Getafe, Fuenlabrada and Madrid city.

"Trying to stabilize the situation and give an account of urgent requirements. The flash flood has been terrible. All services are working at full capacity to normalize [the situation]. Be alert to instructions," Arganda del Rey mayor said.

Firefighters said they responded to more than 1 000 calls, most of them for minor issues such as fallen tree branches or flooding in garages and basements, El Pais reports.

AEMET said they recorded more than 9 300 lightning strikes in 6 hours.

The extreme weather event lasted approximately 20 minutes.

Meteorologist Benito Fuentes said strong storms such as these are common in August. "At the end of summer, the atmosphere is unstable, which causes air to rise for dynamic reasons, not thermal ones."

Featured image credit: Ruptly

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