Storm Gloria tore through Spain this week, severely damaging hundreds of miles of Mediterranean coastline in the regions of Catalonia, Valencia, Murcia, and Andalusia, and bringing heavy snowfalls inland. Crops, roads, and coastal developments in and around Catalonia’s major hub of Barcelona were damaged or destroyed by the storm, which had claimed at least 13 lives as of Friday morning. Four people are missing, according to Spanish newspaper El País.
Over 400 miles of coastline in Catalonia were damaged by the storm, with more than 300 miles affected in Valencia. Travel disruptions are in place throughout Catalonia on Friday, with more than 130,000 students ordered to remain at home. Valencia’s regional premier Ximo Puig, speaking from Madrid, told reporters that “With an alliance of the public and private sectors, we will forge ahead. We are saddened by this disaster and the recovery will be very tough, but we are going to rise above this,” demanding action from the federal government to kickstart recovery efforts.
Storm Gloria traveled westward toward the coast of Spain after ripping through the Balearic Islands, causing panic in the tourist hub of Mallorca and its capital city, Palma de Mallorca. Waves nearly 20 feet high crashed onto beaches in some parts of the island. Once it reached mainland Spain, the delta of the Ebro River flooded 7,000 acres of rice fields, El País reported. The worst of the storm appears to have hit and passed, though more than 100 roads remained closed in the affected areas.