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Snow closes Madrid airport Печать E-mail
Новости - Зарубежные новости
Автор: Newsmaster   
09.01.2009 19:25
MADRID, Spain — A freak snowfall coated downtown Madrid in white on Friday, shutting down the city's airport but providing rare opportunities for snowball fights while intrepid golfers drove their balls into the blizzard.

National Airport spokeswoman Esther Perez said flights in and out of Barajas international airport were suspended shortly before 11 a.m. local time because of the intensity of the snowfall. They were still suspended as of early afternoon.

One of Europe's busiest airports, Barajas operates some 1,200 flights daily.

"It snows nearly every year in Madrid but rarely does it stick like this in the city center," said Angel Rivera, spokesman for Spain's National Meteorological Agency.

He said it was too early to calculate how much snow had fallen but that the agency estimated it could be up to 2 1/2 inches. Rivera said the last time central Madrid had a similar snowfall was Feb. 23, 2001.

"It's the first time I've seen snow in my life," said Maria Rosa Riveiro, 33, from Cape Verde, who has been living in Spain for over 2 years. "It's a strange feeling, it's exciting."

Madrid is situated some 600 meters above sea level and has ski resorts in the Sierra Guadarrama mountain range just north of the city.

Rivera said the weather was a continuation of a spell of freezing temperatures and snow that swept central Europe this week. It shut airports in Milan and was blamed for at least 12 deaths across the continent. He said it was expected to move out of Spain and across northwest Africa by Saturday night.

Friday's blizzard drew traffic to a halt on several main roads leading into and out of the capital and authorities urged people to travel by public transport.

But the inclement weather did not stop children firing snowballs at each other or interrupt golf enthusiasts teeing-off at a city-center practice range.

Найдено в интернете: http://rssfeeds.usatoday.com/~r/UsatodaycomTravel-TopStories/~3/OqwBXKBYuQw/2009-01-09-madrid-airport-snow_N.htm

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