Province on high alert for rain and storms

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The entire province of Valencia is on alert for heavy rains and storms after the Agencia Estatal de Meteorología (AEMET) issued a weather warning.

Many towns throughout the province have already experienced extreme rainfall, with some including Gandia recording more than 25 per cent of the annual precipitation in just six hours, with over 200 litres of water per square metre accumulating in low-lying areas. These were subsequently some of the worst hit and resulted in the town declaring a disaster zone.

Rainfall over the past week has been the heaviest recorded in the last 10 years and much of the drainage infrastructure is simply not capable of handling the sheer volume of water in such a short period of time, leaving the streets flooded and causing damage to property and infrastructure.

Seven provinces throughout the country have activated the yellow alert (risk) because of rain and storms, which includes Valencia, where rainfall could reach 30 litres per square metre per hour in some of the coastal areas. AEMET has raised the warning to orange level for much of the coast indicating a major risk of heavy rains.

Temperatures have been in general decline in Alicante and Valencia, dropping from the mid-30s to around 19-24 degrees almost overnight, and according to weather forecasts the poor conditions are expected to persist throughout the month of September. The heavy rainfall will also decrease sea temperatures, which usually does not happen until October. The ‘gota fria’ – cold drop – has arrived early this year, putting an abrupt end to a summer of high temperatures and little or no rainfall.

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