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Madrid — Officials have placed more than half of Spain’s 50 provinces under alert for heavy snow and sleet storms, with southern tourist towns reporting their first snowfalls in decades.

Authorities in the southeastern resort town of Torrevieja say that emergency services are on alert for flooding. Intense sleet storms came hours after the first snowfalls in more than 90 years coated the town’s beaches white.

In the nearby resort town of Denia, classes were suspended as rain storms followed the first snowfalls in more than three decades.

Classes were also suspended in the mountainous southwestern tourist town of Ronda as up to 15 inches of snow cut off two access roads.

The AEMAT weather agency said that more snow and freezing temperatures were expected Thursday.

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