It’s pouring rain in southern Spain, not mainly on the plain

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WET WEATHER: A tourist fights with his brolly in Malaga city centre.

THE slightly unseasonal heavy rain sweeping the region over the last few days has brought the usual precipitation-related chaos, with a swathe of floods, traffic accidents, and other unfortunate episodes.

Urban roads became raging torrents during the downpour, with fountains of water exploding from municipal sewers across Malaga as drivers struggled to make headway through the temporary cascades.

A number of public events, such as the San Isidro festival in Estepona, were cancelled or suspended due to the deluge, with a ‘yellow’ warning in place for much of the week after the heavens opened on Friday May 6.

The highest volumes of water fell inland, with 93 litres per square metre registered in Coin over just six hours on Friday, amounting to 20 per cent of the entire year’s total, and 50 litres per square metre measured in Casarabonela and the Guadalhorce valley.

A motorcyclist lost his life, with his passenger seriously injured, when he lost control of his vehicle on the A-357 close to Cartama, as the monsoon-like conditions provoked a number of traffic accidents. A positive outcome of the squall has been observed in the region’s dams, where water levels had become dangerously low following the dry winter, but are now showing vague signs of recovery.

In particular, the La Concepcion dam near Marbella has now reached 75 per cent capacity thanks to the triple transfer system, installed after the great drought of 1995, which captures water from the Guadalmansa, Guadaiza and Guadalmina rivers, in addition to the River Verde which feeds the lake directly.

The welcome increase should guarantee a problem-free summer for most of the Costa del Sol, although residents of Malaga City are likely to remain on alert as the Guadalhorce-Guadalteba dam complex at El Chorro has remained at more-or-less the same level as before the cloudburst.

Conditions are expected to improve tomorrow, on Friday May 13.

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