Canary Islands struggle to restore after tropical storm

Tens of thousands of people in the Canary Islands remained without electricity Wednesday, more than a day after Tropical Storm Delta ripped through the islands, killing seven in the popular holiday destination. Torrential rain and winds around 120 kph (74 mph) in some places tore off roofs and uprooted trees, dropping them on power lines Monday evening.

About 200,000 people in the cities of Tenerife and La Laguna remained without electricity after the storm, regional officials said. Regional authorities said power cuts had also affected the islands of Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and La Palma, as well as Tenerife.

More than 300 police agents patrolled the streets of Tenerife on Tuesday nights to prevent looting at stores, shopping centers and private homes.

Technicians on Wednesday were sawing up trees that had fallen on to roads and trying to restore service to more than 10,000 fixed-line telephone lines that were cut off, as well as mobile phone coverage. Authorities said they expect to restore the whole power supply network by Friday.

One 63-year-old man died while trying to repair his roof on the island of Fuerteventura as the storm approached. Tropical Storm Delta also claimed the lives of six would-be immigrants who died when their makeshift boat with 50 people on board sank while trying to reach the Canary Islands from Africa.

On Wednesday, airports, which had been forced to impose flight delays as the storm approached, were back to normal. Schools remained closed for the day. The Canary Islands are one of Europe's top tourist destinations, located off the coast of northwest Africa, reports the AP. I.L.

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