Hurricane "Leslie" hit the coast of Portugal

School bus

Hurricane Leslie churned across the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday heading toward Portugal and Spain, with forecasters saying the storm will bring heavy rain, high winds and unsafe surf to western parts of the Iberian Peninsula.

The storm, one of the most powerful to ever hit the country, is now passing over northern Spain.

At the same time, Storm Callum unleashed fierce winds and torrential rains across much of western Britain with severe floods and landslides in parts of Wales. The main A1 motorway was among the roads temporarily blocked.

Luis Belo Costa of Portugal's National Protection Agency says Sunday those injuries were not life-threatening.

Portuguese authorities urged those living by the coast to stay indoors and fishermen to return to port while some flights were cancelled over warnings winds could reach up to 120 kilometres per hour (75 miles per hour).

Leslie was downgraded from a hurricane before it reached Portugal late on Saturday.




Gusty winds, heavy rainfall and large swell will impact Portugal and parts of Spain tonight and early Sunday.

Leslie was dubbed a "zombie" hurricane as it first formed on Sept 23, only to meander through the Atlantic Ocean for weeks before making landfall.

Forecasters said a tropical storm warning is in effect for Madeira Island, where Leslie is expected to hit Saturday night.

Over the past 176 years, only Hurricane Vince has made landfall on the Iberian peninsula, hitting southern Spain in 2005, according to weather records.

A lifeguard watches at Carcavelos beach before hurricane Leslie arrives in Portugal.

"Weakening is forecast after Leslie moves inland over the Iberian Peninsula, and the post-tropical cyclone is expected to dissipate by Monday", the Miami-based weather forecaster said.

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