Five dead as storm strikes Iberian Peninsula


LISBON (Reuters) – A storm sweeping across Spain and Portugal has killed at least five people, damaged buildings, cut power lines and forced authorities to shut roads hit by flooding and fallen trees, officials said on Friday.

Storm Elsa hit the Iberian Peninsula on Wednesday and increased in intensity on Thursday afternoon, packing high winds and heavy rain. Authorities said it was being tracked by a second storm, Fabien.

On Thursday, one man died in Montijo, near Lisbon, after a tree fell on his truck, and a second man was killed in Castro Daire, northern Portugal, when his house collapsed, officials said.

In northern Spain, one person died in a landslide in Asturias, a second was killed when a stone wall crumbled in Galicia and a third person was swept away by floodwaters in Castile and Leon, a spokeswoman for the acting government said.

Spanish authorities said Elsa was likely to continue pummeling central and southern Spain and that Fabien would bring winds of up to 140 km/hour and waves as high as 9 metres (30 ft) in the north.

In Portugal, civil protection commander Pedro Nunes forecast that weather conditions would worsen on Friday afternoon and through the night.

Reporting by Catarina Demony in Lisbon and Ashifa Kassam in Madrid, Additional reporting by Patricia Vicente Rua, Editing by Andrei Khalip and John Stonestreet

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