Storm Elsa hits southern Europe, leaving widespread destruction and at least 8 people dead
Storm Elsa is affecting parts of southern Europe, including Spain, Portugal and France, since December 18, 2019, with very heavy rain and strong winds, damaging buildings, cutting power supply and shutting down roads. A second storm, named Fabian, is expected to impact the region over this weekend. At least 8 people have been killed, 6 in Spain and 2 in Portugal.
Elsa produced wind speeds up to 177 km/h (110 mph) in some areas, leaving hundreds of thousands without power. In just 24 hours to 06:00 UTC on December 20, Grazalema recorded 289.6 mm (11.4 inches); over 22 mm (0.86 inches) per hour over several hours.
In southern France, nearly 140 000 people have been left without power, while 3 people were injured and 17 others were evacuated from a building that had its roof ripped off by high winds.
Latest satellite image loop as #StormElsa moves through. Winds are peaking on West coast now and will start to ease in next hour. High tide in Galway was 22:10 so waters should start to reduce too. An awful day but it has nearly passed. pic.twitter.com/3lgQfRi6KJ
— Carlow Weather (@CarlowWeather) December 18, 2019
#Iberia – 21/12 – a snapshot of yesterday, Friday's, total rainfall – with wettest by a long shot #Grazalema #Cadiz with 286.9mm, recording over 20mm/hr over several hours and with an additional 75.9mm totting up since midnight last night!#StormElsa #BorrascaElsa pic.twitter.com/BXA8YMz28m
— MeteoGib (@MeteoGib) December 21, 2019
Storm Elsa at 20:00 UTC on December 18, 2019. Credit: Meteosat-11
One person died in northern Portugal on December 19 when his house collapsed. Another one died near Lisbon when a tree crushed his truck.
Three people died in Spain on December 19 and 20 and another 3 on December 21.
Elsa caused widespread damage across Ireland on December 18, with western seaboard hit particularly hard.
A second storm, named Fabian, is expected to impact the region over this weekend with even higher wind speeds, and possibly leading to more damage in southern Europe.
The same system bringing unsettled weather to southern parts of the UK, is likely to be even more impactful across the north of Iberia and western France. Here damaging winds are possible later, with very heavy rain, before conditions improve on Sunday pic.twitter.com/0Nv39gzTtW
— Met Office (@metoffice) December 21, 2019
J*sus, it got even worse after that (after the last video I posted). Poor people coming out of the cinema to discover their cars in flooded car park. #StormElsa #Salthill #Galway @endacunningham @declanvarley @deric_tv @villagesalthill pic.twitter.com/EOMyQUljBe
— PictureDiaryGalway (@PicDiaryGalway) December 18, 2019
Stay safe everyone… #galway #salthill #StormElsa pic.twitter.com/WDRzbekOSw
— Sophia's Library (@soelvyra) December 18, 2019
Such respect for all the members of the search and rescue teams out tonight – doing incredible work keeping people safe in these dangerous conditions #StormElsa pic.twitter.com/21RKvODZXd
— Laura Costello (@lauracostello_) December 19, 2019
Featured image credit: Meteosat-11. Acquired 05:30 UTC on December 20, 2019
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