NOTE! This site uses cookies

By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more detalis, see Read more

Accept

What are you looking for?

Snow covers most of Catalonia, causing minor inconveniences

Some roads have been blocked for a few hours and thousands of children had their schools shut down for the day. These have been the main effects of a small snowstorm that covered most of Catalonia during Wednesday morning. Catalonia has a wide diversity of landscapes, combining alpine mountains with river deltas, flat agricultural plains with rocky coasts, hills covered by forests with sandy beaches. This diversity is concentrated in an area the size of Belgium, which results in a wide diversity of climates. In the Pyrenees, snow is present for most of the winter, but this is not the case for the rest of Catalonia. In the flatlands around Lleida or in hilly areas of Girona or the northern part of Barcelona Province, it tends to snow at least once per year, but not in the rest of the country, where it only snows once every 4 or 5 years. Therefore, when snow arrives, transport problems and other issues tend to be also present.

SHARE

04 February 2015 09:03 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- Some roads have been blocked for a few hours and thousands of children had their schools shut down for the day. These have been the main effects of a small snowstorm that covered most of Catalonia during Wednesday morning, including the hills above Barcelona city and towns near Tarragona, and that has left up to 40 centimetres of snow in some areas. Catalonia has a wide diversity of landscapes, combining high alpine mountains with river deltas, flat plains of agricultural fields with rocky coasts, hills covered by forests with sandy beaches. This diversity is concentrated in an area the size of Belgium, which results in a wide diversity of climates. In the Pyrenees, snow is present for most of the winter and there are many ski resorts. However, this is not the case for the rest of Catalonia. In the flatlands around Lleida or in hilly areas of Girona or the northern part of Barcelona Provinces, it tends to snow at least once per year, but not in the rest of the country, where it only snows once every 4 or 5 years and it melts after minutes or a few hours. Therefore, when snow arrives, transport problems and other issues tend to be present as well, despite the early weather forecasts and preparations. However, despite many annoying transport inconveniences, no serious accidents happened during the day. 


The toll highways AP-2 and AP-7, and the motorway A-2, have been the main roads affected by the snowfall on Wednesday morning. A-2’s tunnel at El Bruc (central Catalonia), a road linking Barcelona and Lleida, has been blocked since 7am and hundreds of drivers were trapped inside for the entire morning. They were assisted by police, but could not move from their vehicles for almost 7 hours. Most of them were going to their workplace and were unable to reach their destination, which made some of them quite angry about the situation.

The Catalan Government justifies the preparations made

Catalan Minister for Home Affairs, Ramon Espadaler, empathised with the people blocked on the roads but highlighted that it would have been an overreaction to cut the main roads or prevent trucks from circulating based on the forecasts available on Tuesday evening. Espadaler, from the governing centre-right pro-Catalan State coalition CiU, defended the preparations made and the actions undertaken by the Civil Protection services, the Catalan Police and the Fire Brigade. The opposition Catalan Green socialist and post-communist coalition ICV-EUiA will ask the Minister to speak before the Catalan Parliament to provide further explanations about the preparations.

The AP-7 was shut down for some 4 hours between Martorell (Greater Barcelona) and El Vendrell (a coastal town near Tarragona) from 9am. Furthermore, the AP-2 had a 116 kilometre-long stretch closed, between Soses (near Lleida) and La Bisbal del Penedès (between Barcelona and Tarragona). Furthermore, other important motorways affected were the C-58, the C-16, the C-17 and the C-32. Many of them connecting areas between Barcelona and Tarragona, or towns and cities in the northern Barcelona Province. Many secondary roads were also blocked for a few hours.

All these problems affected the school transportation system and some 7,000 children were unable to attend school. In addition, a few education centres did not open their doors today, as a cautionary measure. On top of this, at least one school had to close its doors and send the children home during the morning, as the snow was continuing to fall.

SHARE

  • Poblet Monastery covered by snow (by R. Segura)

  • El Bruc's tunnel at the A-2 motorway, blocked (by M. Martí)

  • Poblet Monastery covered by snow (by R. Segura)
  • El Bruc's tunnel at the A-2 motorway, blocked (by M. Martí)