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. Four killed as storms batter eastern Spain

by Staff Writers
Madrid (AFP) Dec 27, 2008
Storms lashing Spain's Mediterranean coast have left four people dead, including three who were swept away by strong waves, local authorities said Saturday.

A 53-year-old man drowned on Saturday after he was caught by a wave in the port of Ganida, south of Valencia, while a security guard suffered the same fate in the northeastern city of Barcelona during the night.

A man was also swept away while driving his car in the port of El Prat del Llobregat, near Barcelona, late Friday, and a deep-sea diver was killed in Sant Andreu de Llavaneres, also near Barcelona, early Saturday, due to the storms.

A ferry boat broke its moorings in the port of Palamos, north of Barcelona, and began drifting out to sea. The vessel, which had no passengers but 19 crew on board, was later towed back to port by maritime rescue services.

Several fishing boats and pleasure boats sank in ports in the northeastern region of Catalonia due to the strong waves, which reached four-metres, (12 feet), said a member of the regional government, Joaquim Nadal.

The storms were also accompanied by heavy snowfall in parts of Catalonia, where about 10 roads and a railway line were closed to traffic on Saturday.

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College roof collapses as California pummeled by storm
Los Angeles (AFP) Dec 15, 2008
At least 10 people were injured after torrential rain caused a school roof to collapse as a winter storm pummeled parts of California on Monday, reports and officials said.

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