JUST one hour inland from Spain’s sunny Costa del Sol there are villages that were hit by torrential rain and flash flooding at the weekend that are slowly starting to recover from the devastation.
One firefighter tragically lost his life while out on an emergency call near Campillos but, luckily, there were no other reports of serious injuries to human life – although there are reports that livestock did perish.
There are countless heart-breaking stories of people losing their homes and all their possessions – particularly in the Guadiaro and Genal valleys in the Serrania de Ronda.
The village of Alpandeire recorded just under 400 litres of rain in a 24-hour period.
River levels in Ronda, La Indiana, Benaojan, Jimera de Libar and Cortes de la Frontera rose so fast that everyone was caught out.
There was no time to rescue treasured possessions or, in many cases, even reach safety.
Strong currents washed everything away – including the only means of escape for some people.
Firefighters, police, town hall workers and even Guardia Civil rescue helicopters were drafted in to help in the emergency efforts.
Brit expats were among those who were winched to safety or lost everything in the storms.
There are numerous reports of horses being washed away to their deaths by the lethal floods as well as the loss of hundreds of pigs, sheep and goats that had been peacefully grazing on riverbanks before the torrent of water hit.
And now begins a long process of making good the damage.
Representatives of the Junta de Andlaucia, the Diputacion de Malaga and insurance assesors are in the worst affected areas evaluating the damage.
Volunteers are helping their neighbours clean the worst of the thick mud from their homes and attempting to salvage any possessions.
Town hall workers, electricians and plumbers are trying to restore basic services.
The high pressure water pumps of the wildfire fighting service INFOCA are being used to clear mud from the roadways.
Things will return to normal – although it will take time.
But the worst floods in living memory will never, ever be forgotten.