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Snow blankets Mallorca as cold grips Spain

Cars travel on a snow-covered road close to the mountain village of Valldemossa on Mallorca
Cars travel on a snow-covered road close to the mountain village of Valldemossa on Mallorca

Snow blanketed Spain's holiday island of Mallorca today as a winter storm brought strong winds and freezing temperatures to large parts of the country.

The Mediterranean island, which normally experiences mild winters, bore the brunt of Storm Juliette, with mountainous areas especially affected.

In parts of northern Mallorca a metre of snow accumulated in 24 hours, said Ruben del Campo, the spokesperson for Spanish national weather office AEMET, calling it an "extraordinary snowfall".

The snow was accompanied by strong winds, with gusts of up to 117km/h, according to the weather office, and heavy rains.

The storm dumped more than 100 litres per square metre in several parts of the island, according to local media.

The snow led to difficult driving conditions on the island

The heavy rain is suspected to have caused several landslides in Palma de Mallorca, the capital of the island, as well as an eight-metre-wide sinkhole on a main avenue of the city.

Known for its picturesque beaches, Mallorca -- part of the Balearic Islands which include Ibiza and Menorca -- gets more than 300 days of sunshine per year, according to its tourism board.

Heavy rainfall however is common in the autumn and winter although heavy snowfall is rare.

The islands were not the only part of Spain to be affected, with temperatures plunging to -16C in the northern province of Guadalajara.

Storm Juliette brought rare snowfall to the island

The cold weather caused snow to fall in other places where it is rare such as the northern city of San Sebastian, as well as the Mediterranean port of Barcelona.

Mr Del Campo said it was Barcelona's "most intense snowfall" since March 2018.

AEMET said the cold snap, which was caused by a mass of cold air from the Arctic, would continue into tomorrow, with most of the interior of Spain on alert for frigid temperatures.

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