Severe hailstorm hits Malaga, causing major tailbacks and power disruptions, Spain

Severe hailstorm hits Malaga, causing major tailbacks and power disruptions, Spain

A severe hailstorm hit Malaga, Spain on Thursday, January 23, 2020, causing chaos in parts of the province as heavy rain and hail trapped commuters in tailbacks. In addition, flash floods swept away numerous vehicles, leaving them piled up. The event came just several days after Storm Gloria battered different parts of the country, which generated the largest wave ever recorded in the Mediterranean, and was blamed for at least 13 fatalities.

The intense weather prompted Malaga officials to reactivate its emergency protocol.

In Limonar, hailstones formed a layer of up to 30 cm (12 inches) deep, causing heavy traffic and stranding residents in their homes.

On the city's eastern bypass, the storm caused tailbacks of up to 20 km (12 miles) between the San Jose tunnel and Rincon de la Victoria. There was also traffic disruption on the Guadalhorce A-357 motorway.

In Campanillas, cars were washed away and stacked upon one another, while one vehicle was thrown through a shop's window by over 1 m (3 feet) flash floods.

Maqueda was reportedly hit badly, with dozens of houses and businesses entirely submerged as the Maqueda streams, as well as Cantos, burst their banks. The damages approximately cost millions.

The severe weather came as an orange level warning was issued for most of the province, particularly for hail and storms.

In the upper areas of Mijas, residents woke up to whiteout conditions following long hours of hailstorms. Lightning even struck the municipality's police headquarters, cutting off the station's communication line for several hours but was eventually restored.

The A-7054 was also blocked off until midday due to icy conditions.

In Marbella, at least 12 vehicles were left stuck in the traffic after the fierce hailstorm left a thick sheet of ice on the road.

Between midnight until the morning, at least 232 incidents were reported as floodwaters spread across streets in Campanillas, Mijas, Benalmadena, Marbella, Alhaurin de la Torre, Torremolinos, and Estepona.

Prior to this, powerful Storm Gloria ripped through parts of Spain on January 19, which killed 13 people: five in Valencia, four in Catalonia,  two in Andalusia, one in the central region of Castile and Leon, and another one in the northern region of Asturias.

In addition, Gloria also generated a wave of 8.44 m (27.69 feet) off of Valencia-- the biggest wave ever in the Meditteranean, beating the previous record of 8.15 m (26.73 feet) set in Menorca, 2003.

Featured image credit: @Doctor_Delgado/Twitter

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