Published: Mon, October 15, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

'Zombie' storm Leslie smashes into Portugal, Spain

'Zombie' storm Leslie smashes into Portugal, Spain

Winds of 110mph were recorded as the hurricane, which weakened slightly into a post-tropical cyclone, swept into northern and central Portugal overnight, with officials warning people not to venture outdoors.

However, Hurricane Leslie, which formed on 23 September, was downgraded to a tropical storm before it made landfall. Tropical force winds were felt up to 160 miles (260 kilometers) from its center.

But in the coastal town of Figueira da Foz, Leslie's wind speeds reached up to 170 km/h, state broadcaster RTP said.

Luis Belo Costa of Portugal's National Protection Agency, who gave the injury toll, said none of the injuries were life-threatening. The main A1 motorway was among the roads temporarily blocked.

Maritime authorities advised fishermen at sea to return to the nearest port and Portugal's TAP airline cancelled seven flights to and from Lisbon.

It is rare for an Atlantic hurricane to hit the Iberian peninsula as only five have been recorded.

Leslie is still expected to generate ocean swells that will affect Madeira, the Azores and the Canary Islands throughout the weekend, in addition to the Atlantic coasts of Spain, Portugal and Morocco.

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

The storm is expected to pass north of Madeira and then approach the southwestern part of the Iberian Peninsula on Saturday before moving inland into Sunday.

Earlier this week, 12 people died in the flooding on Mallorca in the Mediterranean.

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