Snow lashes on Madrid

A BLANKET of snow and ice has covered much of Spain with 34 provinces on alert in the  north, centre and south of the country. 

The mercury hit subzero temperatures in dozens of cities with lows of -10 in mountainous areas.

Schools and roads have been forced to close while an emergency meeting was held by the government in Barcelona yesterday in a bid to develop a plan to tackle the frosty onslaught.

Madrid had two close two runways at the Adolfo Suarez Barajas airport on Monday and around 50 flights were cancelled, while in Catalunya, 50 children had to be rescued from a mountain while on a school expedition.

At least 300 roads have experienced problems since Monday.

Zaragoza, Cantabria, Albacete, Cuenca, Catalonia and Asturias, were all given orange alerts indicating significant risk.

Yellow alerts were issued to Córdoba, Granada, Jaén, Toledo, Castilla y Leon, Madrid, Navarra, La Rioja and the Basque Country.