Spain – Deadly Floods in Valencia and Murcia After Days of Torrential Rain

Five people have drowned as torrential rain that began on 17 December caused flooding in south east Spain. Some areas have recorded more than 400 mm of rain in the last few days.

The worst hit areas are Valencia and Murcia where Schools have been closed and many roads blocked. The heavy rain is expected to move to Catalonia and the Balearic Islands over the next days and Orange level warnings have been issued.

This is the fourth deadly flood event to hit Spain since mid October this year.

Fatalities and Rescues

One man died when he was trapped in a flooded cave in Xàtiva, situated near the banks of the river Albaida in the province of Valencia.

Also in Valencia, a man died after his car was swept away and overturned in a flash flood in Castellon. Another victim was swept away by flood water and dragged into the sea in Cala Finestrat, near the tourist resort of Benidorm.

Two victims died in flood water in separate incidents in Los Alcázares in Murcia.

Hundreds have been evacuated from their homes and emergency services in Murcia alone reported having to rescue at least 350 people from their homes and cars in Los Alcazares, Murcia, San Javier and Torre Pacheco.

Murcia emergency services reported that, since 17 December, they have responded to 2,773 rain related emergencies, in particular in Los Alcázares (646), Murcia (531) and San Javier (358).

The Murcia region was put on Level 2 Emergency plan on Sunday, with the armed forces being called in for support. As of 19 December, school activities were suspended in 28 municipalities in Murcia.

Around 150 people have been forced from their homes in Los Alcázares are currently staying in temporary shelters. Residents in Los Alcázares have been warned to avoid drinking tap water.

Los Alcazares floods, Spain, December 2016. Photo: Direccion General Seguridad Ciudadana y Emergencias
Los Alcazares floods, Spain, December 2016. Photo: Direccion General Seguridad Ciudadana y Emergencias
Los Alcazares floods, Spain, December 2016. Photo: Direccion General Seguridad Ciudadana y Emergencias

Rainfall

Agencia Estatal de Meteorología (AEMET) in Valencia report that around 400 mm of rain fell between 16 and 19 December in Beniarrés (433.2 mm) and Pinet (398.6 mm).

24 Hours to 19 December

  • Moratalla, Murcia – 40.0 mm
  • Yecla, Murcia- 36.8 mm
  • San Javier Aeropuerto, Murcia – 32.3 mm
  • Barx, Valencia – 188.8 mm
  • Ontinyent, Valencia – 128.6 mm
  • Alcoy, Alicante – 94.6 mm
  • Pego, Alicante – 90.4 mm
  • Carcaixent, Valencia – 83.6 mm

24 Hours to 18 December

  • Torre-Pacheco, Murcia – 61.4 mm
  • San Javier Aeropuerto, Murcia -149.9 mm
  • Alhama de Murcia, Murcia – 117.4 mm
  • Murcia – 94.2 mm
  • Bullas, Murcia – 73.8 mm
  • Carcaixent, Valencia – 116.6 mm
  • Barx, Valencia – 93.4 mm
  • Orihuela, Alicante – 88.6 mm
  • Rojales, Alicante – 78.6 mm
  • Enguera-Navalón, Valencia – 74.4 mm

24 Hours to 17 December

  • Cartagena, Murcia – 60.0 mm
  • Bullas, Murcia – 55.2 mm
  • Alhama de Murcia, Murcia – 54.8 mm
  • Murcia – 49.4 mm
  • Mazarrón, Murcia – 49.4 mm
  • Buñol, Valencia – 107.8 mm
  • Enguera-Navalón, Valencia – 106.8 mm
  • Turís, Valencia – 76.6 mm
  • Barx, Valencia – 69.0 mm
  • Valencia Aeropuerto – 50.8 mm

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Flood summary

Last updated: December 22, 2016
Event
Valencia and Murcia, Spain, December 2016
Date
December 17 to December 20, 2016
Type
Flash flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall, Long-term rainfall

Locations

A - Xàtiva
B - Castellon
C - Cala Finestrat
D - Los Alcázares

Magnitude

Rainfall level
188.8 mm in 24 hours
Barx, Valencia - December 18 to December 19, 2016
Rainfall level
128.6 mm in 24 hours
Ontinyent, Valencia - December 18 to December 19, 2016
Rainfall level
149.9 mm in 24 hours
San Javier Aeropuerto, Murcia - December 17 to December 18, 2016
Rainfall level
117.4 mm in 24 hours
Alhama de Murcia, Murcia - December 17 to December 18, 2016
Rainfall level
106.8 mm in 24 hours
Enguera-Navalón, Valencia - December 16 to December 17, 2016
Rainfall level
107.8 mm in 24 hours
Buñol, Valencia - December 16 to December 17, 2016

Damages

Fatalities
5 people
December 17 to December 20, 2016
Fatalities occurred in Xàtiva, Valencia (1), Castellon, Valencia (1) Cala Finestrat, near Benidorm (1). Two victims died in flood water in separate incidents in Los Alcázares in Murcia.