Spain: strong winds, fires, and 14,000 evacuated

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Winds in Spain and southern France downed power lines which started at least three large fires. Over 14,000 people evacuated in front of the fires, which were pushed by winds gusting at 60 to 120 mph. More than 500 firefighters are working on the fires, aided by 170 soldiers. Their Canadair “super scooper” air tankers are grounded by the winds.

Several people were killed by falling trees, and a 78-year old man was killed by flying debris outside his home. Four children were killed when the wind collapsed the roof and a wall of a sports complex near Barcelona. Millions of homes are without power.

From Reuters:

The toll for the Landes forest, one of Europe’s largest which provides a living for thousands of small and large timber companies, was dramatic.

Footage filmed from helicopters and broadcast on France 2 state television showed vast areas where there were more trees lying on the ground than standing. Experts estimated that 50 percent or more of the trees had fallen.

The narration in this video about the fires is in Spanish, but you’ll get the idea.

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