Eintime Conversion for education and research 10-20-2007 @ 07:24:18
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Floods wreak havoc in Spain

MADRID (AP) — Hailstones the size of walnuts pummeled villages in central Spain and torrential storms wreaked havoc in much of the country, damaging crops, disrupting rail services and killing one person, officials said Thursday.

A string of intense downpours has also flooded tunnels and streets in Madrid and forced the evacuation of hundreds of people since the bad weather started early this week.

A man died in Pontevedra in northwest Galicia province when a wall collapsed on him.

The rain has been most intense in Madrid and the surrounding area, and in the regions of Castilla-Leon to the north and Castilla-La Mancha to the south.

The regional president of Castilla-La Mancha, Jose Maria Barreda, said one million acres of crops have been damaged, mainly vineyards and grain.

In the town of Campo de Criptana in Castilla-La Mancha, huge hailstones damaged roofs and clogged drains in the streets, and 20 people were evacuated from their homes, said local police officer Manuel Manjavacas.

Train service has been disrupted from Madrid to eastern areas including Valencia and Murcia.

National Meteorology Institute spokesman Angel Rivera has described the weather as "a rosary of storms."

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10-20-2007 @ 07:24:18