Spain – Floods Wreak Havoc in Andalusia After 112mm of Rain in 1 Hour

Torrential rain of over 100mm in 1 hour caused damaging flash floods in Huelva Province on the coast of Andalusia, southern Spain, on 23 September 2021.

Flood damage in Huelva Province, Andalusia, Spain, 23 September 2021. Photo: Emergencias 112 Andalucia

According to Spain’s meteorological agency AEMET, the town of Cartaya in the Province of Huelva recorded 118 mm of rain during a storm on 23 September, with 112.4 mm of rain falling in just 1 hour.

Raging flood water swept though streets of numerous towns in the area, wrecking vehicles and damaging buildings. The region’s emergency authority, Emergencias 112 Andalucía, responded to more than 750 incidents of flooding in numerous municipalities in Huelva province. 112 Andalucía said the damage has been concentrated in the coastal populations of Isla Cristina, Lepe, Ayamonte and Cartaya.

he were no reports of injuries or fatalities. Most of the incidents managed by Emergencias 112 Andalucía were due to flooding in homes and other buildings, including a school. For anyone displaced, emergency accommodation has been made available in the town halls of Lepe and Ayamonte and a local hotel.

There were numerous problems on the roads and at least 2 remain closed as of 24 September. A massive clean-up operation was underway as soon as the flood waters cleared, involving more than 630 personnel. A major part of the clean-up is to remove the numerous vehicles piled along streets or scattered around affected areas by the force of the floods.

The dramatic events in Huelva follow days of heavy rain in southern Spain which has affected other parts of Andalusia and the Balearic Islands.

On 21 September, heavy rain caused flash flooding in parts of Grenada and Cordoba Provinces in the Andalusia region of Spain, on 21 September 2021. Emergency Service 112 Andalucia responded to 30 incidents in several areas of Granada, mostly the towns of Montefrío, Illora and Chimeneas.

In Cordoba Province, areas of Lucena and Puente Genil were hardest hit. Mayor of Lucena, Juan Perez, reported 280 phone incidents handled by local police and 43 through 112 Andalucia. Local media reported 53 mm of rain in 1 hour during the early afternoon of 21 September 2021.

Emergency services in the Balearic islands reported severe weather including floods from 21 September. Emergency services received around 130 calls for assistance across all of the islands, with most of the calls from Alcúdia and Muro in Mallorca.

Further west, heavy rain on 23 September caused flooding in several municipalities of Badajoz Province in Extremadura Region. Several roads have ben cut or closed and the rail service between Villafranca de los Barros and Zafra interrupted.

Flood damage in Huelva Province, Andalusia, Spain, 23 September 2021. Photo: Emergencias 112 Andalucia

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