70,000 still without electricity in Portugal after Hurricane Leslie

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-16 06:12:22|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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LISBON, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Some 70,000 people remained without electricity in the centre of Portugal on Monday, after Hurricane Leslie battered the country on Saturday night.

"Getting a normal electricity supply back is a matter of dramatic urgency for local people," said Portugal's president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

He was speaking to journalists in the town of Soure in the central district of Coimbra, some 180 km north of Lisbon.

The lack of power "prevents everything from functioning", he added, having been informed of closed schools and public institutions, as well as shops and businesses.

National electricity supplier EDP said it had 750 technicians working to restore power and had activated 70 emergency generators.

EDP blamed the delay in rectifying the power supply on heavy damage to pylons and cables.

Hurricane Leslie rampaged through Portugal on Saturday night and the early hours of Sunday morning, hitting the central region hardest.

A gust of wind at the coastal town of Figueira da Foz clocked in at 176 kilometers per hour, the highest wind speed ever recorded in Portugal, according to the Institute of Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA).

There has been only one death reported, 28 people were left lightly injured by the storm and there were 61 evacuations.

Landslides and fallen trees were the most common causes of injury and damage. Farmland has also been left devastated, with severe wreckage to crops and infrastructure.