Spain – Major Flooding After Rivers Overflow in North East

Flooding has hit parts of Navarre and Aragon regions in north-eastern Spain after snow-melt in river catchment areas and a period of heavy rain caused rivers to overflow.

Some rivers have reached similar levels to those of the 2015 floods. One person has died in a swollen river in Zaragoza province, Aragon.

Areas of Navarre region, including in the district of Pamplona, are under water after rivers burst their banks yesterday, 12 April, 2018. The regional government posted videos on social media showing wide areas of land under water after flooding from the overflowing Ebro, Aragon, Araquil and Arga rivers.

Emergency Plans

Special emergency plans for flooding have been set in place by the regional governments in Navarre and Aragon, in partnership with Hydrographic Confederation of the Ebro and Spain’s Military Emergency Unit (UME). Although initially at risk, emergency status in the Basque Country has been downgraded.

As of 13 April, authorities in Aragon were waiting to see how far levels of the Ebro river rose before deciding on evacuations in Pradilla de Ebro and Boquiñeni. Around 1,500 people were evacuated from the towns during the 2015 floods.

UME personnel have been deployed to build temporary flood defences in affected areas. Overnight teams worked to erect defences in the towns of Novillas and Cabañas de Ebro in Zaragoza province.

The Ebro River in Castejón and Zaragoza

Of particular concern to authorities are levels of the Ebro river in Castejón, Navarre and Zaragoza, Aragon.

The swollen Ebro at Castejón reached 7.73 metres on 13 April, well above alert stage of 6.5 metres. The Ebro at Zaragoza stood at 4.86 metres, above the alert stage of 4.5 metres, with flow rates of 1,785 m3/s. The record high is 6.1 metres set during the March 2015 floods.

Confederación Hidrográfica del Ebro said that the river should crest on Sunday in Zaragoza, with flow rates predicted to be between 2,100-2,400 m3/s.

Levels of the Jalón river at Calatayud were also extremely high, standing at 2.82 metres, above alert stage of 2 metres. During the floods of March 2015 the river reached 2.77 metres. The highest ever levels were recorded in February 2003, when the river reached 3.11 metres.

Fatality in Zaragoza

Authorities in Zaragoza said that the body of a man was found in the Grío river in Codos, Zaragoza province early on 13 April, 2018.

Firefighters and emergency teams had worked through the night searching for the victim who went missing on Thursday 12 April while he was working in an area near the swollen river.

Social Media

Featured image: Floods in Navarre, Spain, April 2018. Photo: Gobierno de Navarra