Flooding sweeps cars into sea in north-east Spain

Flooding Sweeps Cars Into Sea In North-East Spain Flooding Sweeps Cars Into Sea In North-East Spain
Spain Floods, © AP/Press Association Images
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By Joan Mateu, Associated Press

The north-eastern Spanish town of Alcanar is surveying the damage to homes and businesses caused by flooding produced by intense rain that fell on large areas of the country.

Residents said they were fortunate no lives were lost when more than 250 litres per square metre of rain fell on the town between midnight and 6pm on Wednesday.

“We had to get upstairs to our apartment and then leave it all in God’s hands,” said Rosa Maria Sancho, the 67-year-old owner of a restaurant on the Alcanar boardwalk.

The flash flooding quickly turned streets into rivers that swept away everything in their path.

Several cars were carried away and around a dozen ended up in the surf of the Mediterranean Sea.

Homes and businesses were filled with mud, water and debris.


Ms Sancho’s daughter Carla Bayerri said they watched helplessly as “part of the terrace went into the sea”.

Wrecked cars in the sea (Joan Mateu Parra/AP)

The flash flooding, dangerous in some eastern parts of Spain since Wednesday, did not lead to any direct casualties, but two young German women drowned when they went swimming in the sea on the tourist island of Mallorca.

The victims were 23 and 25. They were part of a larger group of seven people, all German nationals, who were swimming after 2am, National Police and the island’s emergency services said.

Other parts of Spain’s central and northern areas, including Madrid, also saw flooding on Wednesday.

Firefighters used a helicopter to rescue three people in serious danger. More had to be pulled from cars caught in the rising waters.

Regional authorities moved 58 residents into hotels, while another 16 spent the night on camp beds in a sports pavilion. Four people had to be rescued at a nearby camping ground that was also badly damaged.

Paquita Aubalat was relieved that her 93-year-old father Vicent was rescued from his home in Alcanar by a neighbour when it was overwhelmed by water.

Firefighters check wrecked cars on the shore( Joan Mateu Parra/AP)


“He had all his life in (his home), but the important thing is that he is safe,” Ms Aubalat said.

Authorities are working to re-establish traffic on roads and rail lines made unpassable by mud and water.

Large areas of Spain’s north and the Balearic Islands remain under alert for storms for a second consecutive day.

Spain’s national weather service said the country is seeing an increase of heavy rain and drought linked to climate change.

“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,” spokesman Ruben del Campo said.

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