Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Tropical storm batters Canaries

A tropical storm has lashed the Canary Islands, killing at least seven people and leaving a trail of destruction.

Many people are still without electricity, while some roads have been blocked by fallen trees and landslides.

At least six African migrants drowned when waves engulfed their makeshift boat. A man also died after being blown off his roof on Fuerteventura.

Twelve people on the same vessel as the six victims have been reported missing.

Winds gusted at up to 200 km/h (124 miles per hour) in parts of Tenerife, disrupting public services.

'Not normal'

More than 200,000 people have been without electricity in parts of the island, which is a popular holiday destination.

Several ports and airports were temporarily closed by Storm Delta, Reuters news agency reported.

Television showed images of mudslides, toppled walls and trees across the islands.

The storm also broke a huge rock and natural monument near Agaete, known as the "Finger of God".

"It's just not normal," Angel Riva of Spain's National Meteorological Institute (INM) told Agence France Presse news agency.

A storm forming off the Azores tends to brew up further south, he said.

"That it should then come east towards Europe, and to the zone and latitudes of the Canaries, is a very unusual phenomenon."

The storm then moved on to Morocco, losing intensity.


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6:23 AM, November 30, 2005  

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