Spain and Portugal brace for Hurricane Leslie

Remnants of Hurricane Michael heading toward Europe

Hurricane Leslie churned across the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday heading toward Portugal and Spain, with forecasters saying the storm will bring heavy rain, high winds and risky surf to western parts of the Iberian Peninsula. The main A1 motorway was among the roads temporarily blocked.

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

Meteorological records indicate that only five hurricanes have ever arrived in this part of the Atlantic Ocean, and Leslie could turn out to be the most powerful storm to hit Portugal since 1842.

Storm "Leslie" hit the center and North of Portugal.

Winds of up to 100kmh uprooted trees in the centre of the country early yesterday morning.

Leslie was dubbed a "zombie" hurricane as it first formed on Sept 23, only to meander through the Atlantic Ocean for weeks before making landfall.

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The Portuguese Institute for Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA) said Leslie on landfall would loose intensity and pass to the category of "post-tropical storm".

He said that intense wind and rainy periods are still to be expected on Monday and that there are trees and infrastructure that suffered damages during the storm that may still fall.

Maximum sustained winds in the former Category 1 hurricane decreased to 70 miles per hour (110 kph) as the storm neared Portugal's west coast, the U.S National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

Spain's Mediterranean island of Mallorca [Majorca] is still recovering from massive rainfalls and flash floods, especially in its eastern coastal regions, last Tuesday that killed 12 people, including tourists from Germany.

Leslie moved east 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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