Blustery weather in Europe kills 2 in Spain, shuts opera house and causes chaos in UK | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Blustery weather in Europe kills 2 in Spain, shuts opera house and causes chaos in UK

A pedestrian shields himself with an umbrella against driving rain as he walks past the neoclassical Corinthian colonnade in the portico of the Zappeion Hall, in central Athens, on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. Rainstorms afflicted most of Greece Friday after clear skies on Christmas and Boxing Day. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
December 27, 2013 - 8:42 AM

MADRID - High winds, torrential rain and crashing waves killed two people and temporarily shut a Spanish opera house, while blustery weather elsewhere in Europe delayed trains and caused severe flooding, authorities said Friday.

A 47-year-old man and an 11-year-old girl drowned in the Canary Islands when they were swept away by waves on La Graciosa island on Thursday, the regional government said in a statement Friday.

Two other members of the same family — a 16-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl — were rescued by boats. In another incident, a Russian yachtsman was plucked from his foundering vessel.

Valencia's opera house, which was scheduled for a Friday concert, was also shut after parts of the building's masonry fell.

The music venue was designed by Valencia-born architect Santiago Calatrava and generated headlines in 2006 when it was revealed that its construction had cost more than 332 million euros ($455.6 million), a sum that was four times the original budget.

In Britain, Friday's foul weather complicated efforts to clean up from a previous storm which hit just before Christmas, lashing the island nation with driving rain, causing floods, cutting power and snarling travel for thousands.

British energy authorities said that some 20,000 people were without power across the country.

The outages led to an on-camera confrontation Friday for Prime Minister David Cameron, who was visiting the flood-hit village of Yalding, in southern England, when a woman accosted him and accused authorities of going on their Christmas break without assuring power was turned back on.

An oil tanker that ran aground off the Moroccan port of Tan Tan during high winds Monday, meanwhile, remained stuck there on Friday. The vessel did not appear to be leaking any of its 5,000-ton cargo.


Associated Press writers Raphael Satter in London and Lori Hinnant in Paris contributed to this report.

News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

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