More than 1,100 military personnel deployed to Murcia and Valencia regions to help rescue people from flooding

A 41-year-old man was found dead in south-east Spain on Saturday, the local government said, bringing the death toll as a result of record-breaking rain over the past two days to at least six.

More than 1,100 military personnel have been deployed to the regions of Murcia and Valencia to help rescue people isolated by flooding and evacuate thousands to safety after a river burst its banks and cascades of water submerged roads.

The most recent victim was from the town of Orihuela, around 34 miles (55 kilometres) from the seaside town of Alicante, where the acting prime minister, Pedro Snchez, visited the emergency response command centre.

Sadly, we mourn another fatality in Orihuela, Snchez tweeted.

Three men were found dead on Friday, including one who had tried to drive through a flooded tunnel, and two siblings died on Thursday when floodwaters carried their car away. The national weather agency maintained its weather alert at the third-highest level on a four-point scale for several areas of central and southern Spain.

Police in Almera said a middle-aged man had died in the city in the early hours of Friday after his car became trapped in a tunnel that flooded in a matter of minutes. The citys mayor, Ramn Fernandez-Pacheco, told Cadena Ser radio that that police officers had managed to rescue two of the three people in the vehicle.

Another man died in his car in Granada province on Friday, according to local authorities, who said the vehicle was found submerged in mud and water.

A man who had been missing since leaving his home on foot earlier on Friday was found dead in the village of Redovn in Valencia.

On Thursday, a 51-year-old woman and her 61-year-old brother were found dead in an overturned car that flood waters had washed away in Caudete, about 60 miles (100km) south of Valencia.

Snchez said the military emergency unit had been deployed and he sent his condolences to the families of the dead.

A difficult and intense night, he tweeted on Friday. Some areas remain on alert amid torrential rains. Sadly we are mourning a third victim in Almera. All my love to the families of those who have died and to all those affected by the weather. Lets step up the precautions.

Almera and Murcia airports remained closed on Friday because of the heavy rains.

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Extreme rainfall triggers flooding in parts of Spain – video

Spains meteorological office, Aemet, had forecast torrential downpours of up to 90mm (3.5in) an hour and up to 180mm over 24 hours. It issued red alerts on Friday for the Valencia region and Mallorca, while Almera, Murcia, Ibiza and Formentera were on orange alert.

Aemet said the isolated depression at high levels causing the heavy rain was expected to affect northern parts of Valencia, Ibiza, south-eastern Aragon and Castilla-La Mancha and parts of eastern Andaluca.

But it added: Be aware that small changes in the evolution of the isolated depression at high levels and low-level winds could also bring heavy rains to other areas.

One of the first places to be hit was Ontinyent, a town south of Valencia, where the Clariano River flooded the streets on Wednesday night. Ontinyents mayor, Jorge Rodrguez, said the town had endured its heaviest rainfall on record, with more than 400mm by Thursday afternoon.

Muddy water rushed through streets, washing away cars, and almost reached the tops of the front doors of houses along the riverbank. Water also overflowed the Pantano de Almansa dam.

A similar weather front hit Madrid and parts of central Spain at the end of August, bringing violent storms, huge drifts of hail and 46.4 litres of rainfall per square metre in some areas.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

 

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