Madrid — The mayor of Madrid called on the central government to declare the Spanish capital a disaster zone on Thursday, warning that the damage caused by the storm last weekend would cost at least € 1.4 billion, or $ 1.7 billion, to repair. ..
Mayor Jose Luis Martinez Almeida said at a news conference that the disaster designation would release emergency funds and “all victims would be compensated as quickly as possible.”
Madrid has struggled to reopen the streets to traffic and remove the snowy mountains that covered the city on Fridays and Saturdays. The storm, named Philomena, caused the heaviest snowfall that Madrid had seen in almost 50 years, causing more than a foot and a half of snow to 6.6 million people in and around the city.
On Thursday, city officials warned that it would take a few more days to clear all the roads, slowing work by freezing weather conditions that are expected to last until mid-next week. The Spanish Meteorological Agency predicts on Thursday that the 10-day sub-zero temperature will be the longest of 20 years of such weather hitting Madrid.
Madrid’s airport was closed most of the weekend and only resumed its regular flight schedule on Thursday, but schools and sports centers will remain closed until Monday.
According to local governments, snowfall also destroyed parks around the capital, damaging 11,000 of the 17,000 trees in Retiro Park.
More than 700 soldiers have been dispatched to help city services clear the snow in the neighborhoods of Madrid and Castile-La Mancha. Despite their efforts, 127 roads were completely closed on Thursday.
Just as Spain entered the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the storm stopped Madrid and disrupted transport across the country. On Wednesday, the Spanish Ministry of Health recorded the most new cases since the pandemic struck Spain in March last year. The country’s Covid-19 death toll exceeds 53,000, making it one of the highest in Europe.
Snow also suspended the country’s vaccination campaign, which began in late December. In Madrid, many healthcare professionals were forced to make extra shifts to make up for colleagues who couldn’t go to the hospital because of snow and ice.
The mayor of Madrid says the storm caused nearly $ 2 billion in damage
Source link The mayor of Madrid says the storm caused nearly $ 2 billion in damage