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Storm Gloria: Death toll rises to 13 in Spain as south-west France battens down the hatches

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A woman photographs the Mediterranean sea as the waves hit the breakwater during a storm in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020.
A woman photographs the Mediterranean sea as the waves hit the breakwater during a storm in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020.   -  
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AP Photo/Joan Mateu - Emilio Morenatti
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The death toll from Storm Gloria in Spain rose to 13 people on Friday while four people were still missing as freak weather continued to batter the east of the country.

The Balearic Islands and eastern regions including Catalonia and Valencia have borne the brunt of the storm now entering its fifth day.

Winds of more than 140 km per hour, waves reaching more than 10 metres and heavy snow and rainfall have unleashed chaos, crippling transport and destroying infrastructure.

AP Photo/Joan Mateu
Two people take snapshots atop of a collapsed bridge in Malgrat, near Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020.AP Photo/Joan MateuJoan Mateu

Seawater has caused devastation as it smashed into and entered coastal towns while the heavy downpour has also prompted fear that swollen rivers could burst out of their beds and flood major cities including Girona.

Elsewhere, such as in parts of Valencia, more than 80 cm of snow has accumulated.

On Wednesday, the body of a man was recovered in a flooded area near the town of Callosa, in southeastern Spain. A woman was also killed when her apartment building partially collapsed. A farmer was found dead in a plastic greenhouse that had been hit by a hailstorm, and another died of hypothermia.

Their deaths add to the five recorded between Sunday and Tuesday, three of which were also caused by hypothermia.

The AEMET meteorological agency expects the storm to let up on Thursday but has left yellow or amber warnings in about twenty provinces, most of them located in the north-east of the country, along the border with France.

Across the Pyrenees, the Meteo France agency has also put several departments under alert — two of which at the highest level — flagging the important risk of flooding which have already led to road closures and local evacuations.

Interactive: See how Storm Gloria ravaged a Spanish river delta

Drag the white bar back and forth across the image below to see how the storm surge affected the delta.

Learn more here.

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