19th April 2024
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The rain in Spain forces cancellation of numerous Good Friday parades

Torrential rain has forced the cancellation of many Good Friday religious processions through Seville, leaving many faithful in tears in the southern Spanish city.

It is the first time since 2011 that all of the six night-time processions — the highlight of Holy Week — were called off due to bad weather. The processions were suspended in 2020 and 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Known as ‘La Madruga’, or ‘The Dawn’, the processions from midnight until dawn on Good Friday are organised by religious brotherhoods who spend months preparing for Easter.

They attract tens of thousands of visitors from around the world who line the streets to watch the solemn parades featuring hooded penitents.

Images broadcast on Spanish television showed scenes of people crying and embracing after the processions were called off at the last minute.

Seville mayor José Luis Sanz said this year’s ‘La Madruga’ would be a ‘fleeting memory’ because of the rain.

‘There are 385 days left to experience it again on our streets during Holy Week in Seville in 2025,’ he added on X (formerly Twitter).

Spain’s meteorological agency, AEMET, issued weather warnings for 14 of the country’s 17 regions due to heavy rain, winds of more than 70 kilometres per hour and rough seas – and which has been dubbed ‘Storm Nelson’.

Four people died on Thursday in three incidents on Spain’s Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts after falling into the sea.

‘Two people died after falling into the sea at Muros del Nalon and Cudillero,’ the emergency services from the northwestern region of Asturias said.

Firefighters used a helicopter to recover ‘the lifeless body of a man’ in Muros del Nalon after being alerted that a person had fallen into the sea. The body of a woman was also recovered in Cudillero.

In Catalonia, a 32-year-old German man entered the sea to try and save a 16-year-old Moroccan boy who had fallen into the water off Tarragona beach, but both drowned, the Guardia Civil said.

Rain also forced the cancellation of other Holy Week parades in Spain, from Cadiz in the southwest to Zaragoza in the north.

But the storms are otherwise good news for Spain where several regions, notably Andalusia and Catalonia, have been suffering from a prolonged drought.

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