Spain floods: Cars swept into Med by raging torrents – 28 areas and tourists alerted
Spain floods: Torrent rushes down street in Toldeo
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Showers and storms continue today as 28 provinces are on alert, according to the prediction of the State Meteorological Agency. More than 250 litres per square metre of rainfall flooded the northeast town of Alcanar on Wednesday as flash flooding quickly turned into a river, sweeping everything in its path.
Popular holidays destinations including Mallorca and Menorca have been placed on orange warning, while the Balearic Islands have a yellow warning.
Showers are expected to subside at the end of the day, except in the northeast of the peninsula and the Balearic Islands where they may even strengthen.
Firefighters were forced to use a helicopter to rescue three people in serious danger as more were pulled from rising water.
Four people also had to be rescued from a campsite while almost 60 residents have been relocated to hotels and 16 spent a night on cots in a sports pavilion.
Additional reporting by Francesca Edwards
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Torrential rains become more frequent in Spain
Torrential rains are becoming ever more frequent in Spain, with flooding causing seven deaths in the southeast in September 2019.
Another storm left 13 dead in the Balearic island of Mallorca a year earlier.
Experts say global warming has increased the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere, making episodes of intense rainfall more likely to happen, raising the risk of flooding.
Buildings and vehicles destroyed by flash floods
Building and vehicles were ravaged by flash floods in Spain’s Alcanar after heavy rain hit the region.
Authorities issued an orange alert for several regions including Balearic islands, Tarragona, Castellon and Valencia
More than 250 litres of water per sq metre fell
According to reports, residents were forced to flee their homes after more than 250 litres of water per sq metre was dumped on the town of Alcanar between 12am and 6pm on Wednesday.
“We had to get upstairs to our apartment and then leave it all in God’s hands,” said Rosa María Sancho, 67, the owner of a restaurant on the Alcanar boardwalk.
Cobisa resident said water knocked down perimeter wall
In Cobisa, one resident, Mario Rodríguez, will never forget what happened, because he recorded with his mobile phone the moment when the water knocked down the perimeter wall of his villa and flooded the house, a video that has gone viral on social networks.
“We had to dive between the furniture. We almost drowned”, he said this Thursday.
“The water reached my head and luckily it broke a door, escaping the house.”
Two German tourists die after going swimming in dangerous water conditions
According to El Pais, two German tourists, ages 23 and 25, drowned after going swimming late at night in dangerous water conditions in Cala Mandia, part of the municipality of Manacor on the island of Mallorca.
Roads buried in mud and flood debris
In Spain, flash flooding struck on 25 August after storms in southern parts of the country brought a short period of heavy rainfall in the early hours.
Flash floods swept through Burunchel and nearby areas in Jaén Province, Andalusia.
Cars were wrecked and houses flooded.
Roads were buried in mud and flood debris. No injuries were reported however.
Authorities reported several roads were closed to traffic on 25 August.
Cazorla in the province of Jaén, Andalusia recorded 45 mm of rain in 1 hour.
Large areas of Spain remain under alert for storms
Other parts of Spain’s central and northern areas, including Madrid, also experienced flooding on Wednesday.
Large areas of Spain’s north and its Balearic Islands remain under alert for storms for a second consecutive day.
More than 5,000 homes without electricity
Catalonia’s emergency service said in a statement around 5,000 homes in the area remained without electricity.
Mobile communications were also affected while several roads and rail links were interrupted.
Intense rain and flooding was also reported in the central Castilla-La Mancha and Navarra regions, halting the high-speed rail link between the Spanish capital Madrid and Toledo, rail administrator Adif tweeted.
Cars dragged away and trees uprooted in storms
In Guadamur, near Toledo, a flash flood dragged away cars, damaged roads and covered the streets of the town with mud, uprooted trees, rocks and other debris.
María del Sagrario Gutiérrez, who has been the mayor for the last 24 years, was in tears as she talked about 200 damaged homes.
She said: “For a village of 1,800 residents, what took 15 years to build was destroyed in an hour. I was born here and I’d never seen anything like it.”
Catalonia records up to 77mm of rainfall in 30 minutes
Catalonia weather stations recorded rainfall of 77mm in just 30 minutes.
The heavy rain triggered flash floods on city streets and damaged ground-floor properties in municipalities of the Montsià and Baix Ebre areas of Tarragona province.
In the small coastal town of Alcanar (population 9,300), record rainfall of 167mm caused flash floods that dragged vehicles out to sea.
Traffic suspended along major motorway due to flooding
Traffic along the major highway N-340 was temporarily suspended near Castellón de la Plana.
Flooding was also reported in the town of Sagunto.
State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) in Valencia reported 155.4 mm of rain fell in Benicàssim in 24 hours on 29 August which is the highest value recorded in 24 hours in the month of August in the province of Castellón.
This is the second spate of flash flooding in southern Spain within the last few days.
Spain’s weather service said country seeing increase of rainfall as a result of climate change
National weather service spokesman Ruben del Campo said: “Spain is observing, above all in points of the Mediterranean, periods of torrential rain that are more intense and longer periods of drought that are interrupted by these intense rains.”
This comes as the UN warned weather disasters are striking the world four to five times more often.
The UN warned the weather disasters are causing seven times more damage than in the 1970s.
Spanish Prime Minister stands in solidarity with those affected
Pedro Sanchez tweeted: “My solidarity with all the territories affected by the rains of the last hours.
“Many provinces are on alert for heavy rainfall and storms.
“Thanks to the emergency services for their immense work, let us follow their instructions and exercise maximum caution.”
60 moved from their homes
60 people have been moved from their homes to stay in temporary accomodation in a hotel as the flood waters subside.
Balearic Islands remain on alert
Balearic Islands, including Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza remain on alert for worsening weather as forecasters are warning of a second consecutive day of storms.
People rescued as rising flood waters ravage the region
Firefighters in Alcanar used a helicopter to rescue three people who were in serious danger.
More had to be pulled from cars that were caught in the rising waters.
Regional authorities have been forced to relocate at least 58 residents into hotels, while another 16 spent the night on cots in a sports pavilion.
A further four people had to be rescued at a nearby camping ground that was also badly damaged.
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