Eight people have died in Spain after a series of violent storms battered much of the south of Europe.

Storm Elsa brought strong gusts of wind up to 160 kilometres per hour, causing damage to roads, walls and trees. Persistent blackouts and flight diversions were also widespread.

The deaths in Spain include a South Korean woman killed by debris falling from a building in Madrid and a Dutch man who drowned windsurfing in rough weather off the Andalucian coast.

Winds of 170km/h were recorded in Galicia, forcing the cancellation of 14 flights as were crossings between Spain and Morocco. At one point more than 118,000 households were without electricity.