AT least five people have perished in the storms which have lashed the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia.
A 40-year-old man drowned in Los Alcazares in Murcia after being dragged into a swimming pool by a waterspout. Shortly after, the Generalitat Valenciana regional government announced that there had been two other fatalities. One of them, a 58-year-old man, was rescued by emergency workers in a flooded cave near the Xativa Castle in Valencia. He was attended to for cranial damage and hypothermia but ultimately died in the Luis Alcanyis Hospital. The third victim was a 64-year-old man whose car got caught in the current of a stream in Enguera. Emergency workers eventually found his empty vehicle and then his lifeless body 300 metres away.
Two other fatalities had previously occurred as a result of the storms. One man was dragged into the sea in Finestrat while looking for his car, and another man lost control of the vehicle he was driving and plunged into a flooded ditch in Castellon.
The strong rain has caused classes in 144 municipalities of the Valencian Community to be suspended. The risk of rivers overflowing led to evacuations from residences in Orihuela, Torrevieja, Denia, and Ontinyent. The National Government required the assistance of the Emergency Military Unit, which rescued 80 people in Los Alcazares, where the city centre had been completely flooded.
The weather has also caused around 50 roads in Murcia and Valencia to be cut off. Train routes have been interrupted and flights at the San Javier airport have been cancelled. There has also been significant damage to residences and businesses.
The Ford Factory in Almussafes had to shut down production due to electrical faults and the Valencian Association of Agricultural workers has estimated that there have been around 172 million worth of losses in the countryside. Several rivers have spilled out into nearby municipalities, including the Clariano River in Ontinyent and the Segura River in Orhiuela, which overflowed for the first time since 1987.
Full reports on the situation on the Costa Blanca and in Almeria will appear in the relevant editions of this Thursday’s EuroWeekly News.
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