Hurricane-Force Winds Rocks Portugal

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Portugal bore the brunt of the cyclone, with at least 27 people injured, thousands of trees uprooted, and more than 300,000 homes losing power.

Some 1,900 incidents were reported to emergency services, although civil defence commander Luis Belo Costa said "the greatest danger has passed". Aveiro, Viseu and Porto in the north also suffered damage.

The exact trajectory of the hurricane, however, remains uncertain due to the presence of another storm approaching the region from the north, Portugal's meteorological institute said.

They told SIC television: "I have never seen anything like it, The town seemed to be in a state of war, with cars smashed by fallen trees". "People were very anxious".

Maximum sustained winds in the former Category 1 hurricane decreased to 70 miles per hour (110 kph) as the storm neared Portugal's west coast, the U.S National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

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Hurricane Leslie is in its last day, but it is a surprising threat to Portugal and Spain.

Gusty winds, heavy rainfall and large swell will impact Portugal and parts of Spain tonight and early Sunday.

Spain was also expected to be hit by the severe weather, dubbed a "zombie" storm because it first formed on 23 September and has meandered through the Atlantic Ocean for weeks.

It was hovering over the Atlantic for so long because it didn't encounter a strong enough weather system to force it towards land, according to Accuweather.

Meteorological records indicate that only five hurricanes have ever arrived in this part of the Atlantic Ocean, and Leslie could turn out to be the fiercest storm to hit Portugal since 1842.

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