'Zombie' storm Leslie smashes into Portugal, Spain

15 October, 2018, 03:23 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
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Hurricane Leslie could turn out to be the fiercest to hit Portugal since 1842, meteorologists warned on Saturday as the storm approached, packing winds up to 120 kilometers per hour (75 miles per hour).

Hurricane-force winds have brought down hundreds of trees and left more than 15,000 homes without power in Portugal.

Leslie was downgraded from a hurricane before it reached Portugal late on Saturday.

As of Saturday afternoon, Leslie was about 200 miles (320 km) west of Lisbon, the NHC said, adding that it is expected to become a post-tropical cyclone and dissipate by Sunday night or Monday.

Global weather forecasting site AccuWeather has dubbed Leslie a "zombie hurricane" as it first formed on September 23 "and has been meandering the waters of the Atlantic Ocean for weeks".

The main motorway in Portugal was blocked by a fallen tree preventing services from traveling.

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Luis Belo Costa of Portugal's National Protection Agency urged people to "avoid at all costs walking on the street", according to the Associated Press. Some flights were also canceled or delayed.

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

Spain and southern France have also been affected by the powerful storm.

It comes just days after intense rain sparked flash floods in the Spanish holiday island of Majorca, killing 12 people including two Britons.

Leslie continued to move east across the Iberian Peninsula to Spain, where authorities have issued warnings for heavy rains and storm conditions in the northern part of the country.

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