Dozens injured as hurricane Leslie strikes Portugal

Arturo Kim
October 15, 2018

Authorities urged people to stay indoors and to stay away from coastal areas as the storm brought heavy rain, strong winds and surging seas.

More than 300,000 homes lost electricity as the storm passed, said Belo Costa, commander at the Civil Protection Agency.

The storm will most likely hit land around the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, before moving across the peninsula, bringing winds of up to 100 km/h (60 mph), Spain's state weather service said.

The remnants of Hurricane Leslie swept in overnight on Saturday, with winds gusting up to 176km/h (109mph). "People were very anxious".

Civil defence officials said 27 people suffered minor injuries, with localised flooding, hundreds of trees uprooted and a number of flights cancelled.

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Now a Category 1 hurricane, Leslie is expected to weaken slightly as it moves east on Saturday, the U.S. National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said. The main A1 motorway was among the roads temporarily blocked.

Gusts of nearly 100km/h were recorded near the city of Zamora early on Sunday, but winds have now lessened.

Michael, the third most powerful hurricane ever to hit the USA mainland, smashed into Florida's northwest coast near the small town of Mexico Beach on Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane with 155-mile-per-hour (250-kilometer-per-hour) winds.

In October 2017, strong winds from Hurricane Ophelia, which traveled north off the coast of Portugal and western Spain, fed forest fires that killed around 40 people during a heatwave.

Leslie moved east on Sunday across the Iberian Peninsula to Spain, where authorities issued warnings for heavy rains and storm conditions for the northern part of the country.

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