EASTER ROAD DEATHS TOLL DOWN DESPITE BAD WEATHER

Spain was hit by storms and snow as this year’s early Easter celebration took a battering across the country, but police were celebrating a considerable drop in road deaths. Images of people sunbathing on the beaches along the Costa del Sol early in the week soon gave way to a nightmare of heavy rain, thunder and lightning and a freak hailstone blizzard. In the north of the country, people returning home from the Easter break had to cope with snow storms and there were no shots of people sunbathing on the northern beaches, where the coastline was battered by high winds and huge waves before the snow took over. The rain kept the religious floats off the streets in cities and towns all over the country, with Sevilla, Malaga and Granada being among the hardest hit. There, it was difficult to say if it was tears or rain drops running down people’s cheeks as they swallowed the bitter disappointment of not being able to follow the procession of the favourite Christ or Virgin. But the bad weather started to let up in the south last Thursday so in some areas the Passion Plays were performed as planned. And in Valencia, the rain held off just long enough to let this year’s Fallas end on their usual explosive note. The good news was that despite the bad weather, road deaths appear to have dropped considerably this year. By midnight last Saturday, only 50 people had lost their lives in road accidents in the nine days since the Easter break began officially on Friday, March 14th. In the ten-day Easter period last year, there were 103 road deaths, a figure that had held steady for the previous three years.

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