Portugal declares red alert as Hurricane Leslie churns toward Iberian Peninsula

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Hurricane Leslie was downgraded to a tropical storm Saturday, expecting to bring unsafe winds, surf and heavy rainfall to portions of Portugal and Spain, the National Hurricane Center said.

More than 200 power lines were affected by the storm, according to reports from power authority EDP.

The weather service warned that gusting winds could potentially reach speeds of 190 kph (118 mph) along the Portuguese coast overnight and early Sunday. The main A1 motorway was among the roads temporarily blocked.

Luis Belo Costa of Portugal's National Protection Agency, who gave the injury toll, said none of the injuries were life-threatening. "People are very alarmed".

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Branches of trees are seen on a street at Benfica neigborhood as hurricane Leslie goes past in Lisbon, Portugal October 14, 2018.

Leslie was downgraded from a hurricane before it reached Portugal late on Saturday.

The remnants of the storm hit the central and northern parts of the Iberian Peninsula, CBS News reported. Some flights were also cancelled or delayed.

Leslie was dubbed a "zombie" hurricane as it first formed on Sept 23, only to meander through the Atlantic Ocean for weeks before making landfall.

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Costa said that Saturday night would be a critical period, warning of the risks of flooding in coastal areas, downed trees and power and telecoms outages.

He said that intense wind and rainy periods are still to be expected on Monday and that there are trees and infrastructure that suffered damages during the storm that may still fall.

Earlier this week, 12 people were killed in flash floods on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca.

Hurricane Leslie is forecast to weaken slightly as it moves east toward the Iberian Peninsula on Saturday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

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