Hurricane-force winds have struck central and northern Portugal, leaving at least 300,000 homes without power and 28 people injured.
Leslie –dubbed a ‘zombie’ hurricane as it first formed on Sept 23 only to meander through the Atlantic Ocean for weeks on end– finally made landfall in Portugal overnight Saturday, Oct 13, with winds gusting up to 180km/h (112mph).
Civil defence officials said 28 people suffered injuries, with localised flash-flooding, thousands of trees uprooted and a number of flights cancelled.
A resident of Figueira da Foz told SIC television: “I have never seen anything like it, The town seemed to be in a state of war, with cars smashed by fallen trees. People were very worried.”
— Global Prep Squad (@GlobalPrepSquad) October 15, 2018
HUGE waves in Porto Moniz, Madeira island, Portugal today (Oct 13) under hurricane Leslie! Report: Meteo tras os montes pic.twitter.com/ptucXugRpc
— severe-weather.EU (@severeweatherEU) October 13, 2018
The storm, thought to be the most powerful to hit the country since 1842, is now passing over northern Spain and southern France.
Five people have already been killed after torrential rains hit southwest France early Monday morning, civic chiefs say, with that total expected to climb.
“We have people stranded on rooftops. We’re going to have to use aircraft to evacuate them because we cannot reach them by boat given the force of the water. It’s too dangerous,” Aude government official, Alain Thirion told BFM TV.
“At least one victim was swept away by raging waters while sleeping,” Thirion added.
In just five hours 180mm of rain fell in the area around Carcassonne, in between Toulouse and Perpignan, near the Spanish border.
Thoré river flooding in Crue department, south France right now! October 15. Report: Les Pehenomenes Meteo de rouma pic.twitter.com/ZT5HR5cRj6
— severe-weather.EU (@severeweatherEU) October 15, 2018