Spain – 3 Die in Floods After Torrential Rainfall in South East

Torrential rain has caused massive flooding in southeastern Spain. At least 3 people have died and hundreds rescued or evacuated.

Massive floods have wiped out bridges and roads in Valencia Region, Spain, 12 to 13 September 2019. Photo: Diputacio de Valencia

Flooding was reported in parts of Valencia, Murcia, Andalusia and Castile-La Mancha, where 2 people died after their vehicle was swept away by flood waters in Caudete in Albacete municipality.

Emergency services said they were called on to rescue people trapped in vehicles or on roofs in Caudete and Almansa. Crews were also called out to flood incidents in Yeste, Bonete, Robledo, Riopar and Alpera.

A third fatality was reported after person died in a vehicle trapped in flood water in Almería, Andalusia early on 13 September. Two other people were rescued.

In the last 48 hours over 400mm of rain has fallen in some areas of Valencia Region, where several rivers have broken their banks. Around 40 people were rescued and 150 evacuated from their homes after the Clariano river in Ontinyent in the comarca of Vall d’Albaida. Ontinyent recorded 296.4mm of rain in 24 hours, according to the region’s meteorological agency AEMET Valencia, which equates to about half the yearly average. This is the second highest daily rainfall total on record, behind the 316.0mm which fell on 04 November 1987.

The overflowing Segura river caused major flooding in the town of Orihuela where 130 people were rescued and 70 people evacuated. Around 65 people stayed overnight in emergency shelter set up in a local school. AEMET Valencia said Orihuela saw a year’s worth of rain fall in just a few hours.

According to Associació Valenciana de Meteorologia (AVAMET) heavy rainfall also caused the Cànyoles river in Moixent to overflow, causing major material damages.

Flash flooding across the region damaged several roads and as of 13 September authorities said 34 remain closed. Schools have been suspended in several municipalities in Valencia. Almería and Murcia airports have been closed.

State Meteorological Agency AEMET has issued further warnings for heavy rain, including a red level (highest of 4) warning for Valencia and orange level for Castile-La Mancha.

Rainfall in Valencia Region, Spain, in a 24 hour period 11 to 12 September 2019. Image / data: AEMET Valencia

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