Storm Filomena has covered Spain in heavy snow, disrupting road, rail, and air travel. In fact, the weather has been so bad, the country's interior minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska called Filomena "the most intense storm in the last 50 years."
Madrid has been one of the worst affected areas. The city's Barajas airport was closed, along with a number of roads, and all trains to and from Madrid have been canceled. Further south, the storm caused rivers to burst onto their banks.
Four deaths have been reported so far. Officials said two people had been found frozen to death (one in the town of Zarzalejo, north-west of Madrid, another in the eastern city of Calatayud, and two people traveling in a car were swept away by floods near the southern city of Malaga).
While facing these challenges, Spanish people have been sharing photos online to show just how much Filomena has transformed their everyday life. Fashion Life has compiled some of them into a list to give you a better understanding of the situation, so continue scrolling and check out the images.
Dani Molinero, an ESL teacher and diversity educator, who captured the beautiful side of the blizzard, said that Filomena has really been at it in their region. "I am from the Basque Country, north of Spain, [and] the weather is usually warm and rainy [at this time of year]," Molinero told Fashion Life. "[It] rarely snows. But the storm has hit this place very hard. I am a teacher and school is canceled until next week, probably. This [looks like] the biggest snowfall ever in the history of my city."
Reddit user alphasephirot, who took a picture of their cat Naoki (full name Ragnar de Naoki Boeing) in the snow, is from Madrid, living in the outskirts of the city in a place called Paracuellos. "The weather here is usually cold dry winters and very hot summers. It's not unusual to have a cold winter with temperatures that range from 0 to 5 or 10 degrees on the 'hottest' days. It usually snows once every couple of years but it won't even stay on the ground," they told Fashion Life.
The 31-year-old has never seen anything like Filomena. "Of course there has been some snow in the past, and in 2009 we had a big snowfall as well, but nothing compared to this. It was normal these days to see people skiing on the streets, which was crazy. Traffic has been a nightmare and the government has been issuing warnings about the storm but everything has collapsed either way."
"I work at the airport and though the news is that it is working as of now, the truth is that normal operation is a nightmare and the ice and snow patches are really hard to dissolve which complicates everything," alphasephirot added. "The situation won't go back to normal for at least one or two weeks from now which is crazy, considering that we are supposedly living in a 'rich' country."
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Up to 50cm (20 inches) of snow fell on Spain's capital Madrid between Friday and Saturday. Overnight, temperatures plummeted to -8C (18F) in parts of the country, and meteorologists sent out warnings that the snow was turning into perilous ice.
The unusually cold wave on the Iberian peninsula is expected to last until Thursday. The Spanish government reported it had taken extra steps (including police-escorted convoys) to ensure its expected shipment of some 300,000 coronavirus vaccines can be distributed as planned to regional health authorities later on Monday.
It Has Been Snowing Like Crazy In Spain And Then Theres This Guy
But there were stories of heroism to inspire people during this difficult period too. For example, doctors and medical workers abandoned their trapped cars and walked for hours to get to work to continue saving the country from the pandemic. One doctor, Alvaro Sanchez, said on social media he had walked 17km (10 miles) over nearly two hours to get to work, while two nurses, Paco and Monica, said they had walked 22km (14 miles) to their hospital.