Storm Leslie hits Portugal, leaves thousands without power

Hurricane Michael tears Florida towns apart, six dead

The Category 1 storm was 315 kilometers (195 miles) southwest of Lisbon, the Portuguese capital, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

Winds from Leslie, which strengthened from a tropical storm to a Category 1 hurricane earlier this week, weakened slightly below the threshold for a Category 1 storm Saturday with maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour.

Spain's national Met Office, AEMET, has issued a raft of severe orange and yellow weather warnings across the country for heavy rain, thunderstorms, strong winds and high coastal waters.

A weakened hurricane Leslie has hit Portugal, leaving 27 people injured as it uprooted trees and smashed store windows with gusting winds and heavy rain.

On Sunday the storm was moving north-east across the Iberian peninsula.

MUCH of Spain is on full alert as Hurricane Leslie is expected to track across the county in a northeasterly direction either as a storm or tropical depression.

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Portugal's civil protection chief Luis Belo Costa warned of possible flooding in coastal areas ahead of the storm's arrival.

And neighbouring Spain was also making preparations, with meteorologists expecting it to hit early Sunday, although by then it was likely to have been downgraded to a tropical storm.

Leslie is still expected to generate ocean swells that will affect Madeira, the Azores and the Canary Islands throughout the weekend, in addition to the Atlantic coasts of Spain, Portugal and Morocco.

Hurricanes formed on the American side of the Atlantic rarely bring their destructive force to Europe.

It is rare for an Atlantic hurricane to reach the Iberian Peninsula, and it is thought this could be the most powerful to hit Portugal since 1842. People there are being referred to the local weather authorities.

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