THE DEADLY FLOODS in south-eastern Spain have so far claimed at least six lives. The most recent victim is a 41-year-old man dead on Saturday morning in the city of Orihuela, Alicante.
Weather conditions are now beginning to stabilise and are expected to improve over the coming days.
Acting prime minister Pedro Sanchez, who flew over the devastated areas in a helicopter on Saturday, said he “deeply lamented” the latest casualty. “All my warmth and solidarity for the people affected by the heavy rains,” he said. “Together, we will deploy all our resources and aid to help the population and return things to normal.”
A trapped British family rescued by the army amid deadly rains recount their holiday nightmare.
Paul Spencer, from Doncaster, said the basement of his family’s Alicante home became totally submerged “within half an hour”, after which the family of six waited eight hours for the military to arrive.
“Cars were streaming past, along with furniture, suitcases and even two people who tried to cross the road. They just got swept away. Their screams were awful, we don’t know what happened to them.”
The family were rescued by the Spanish army after becoming trapped in their villa in what has become the country’s worst September storms in decades.
At least 3,500 people have been evacuated so far. The military emergency services have also assisted in the repair of the riverbank and the supply of food to evacuated residents.
Storms in this area are a yearly meteorological phenomenon, but they have been particularly violent this year, turning fields into lakes and roads into torrent rivers of mud, sweeping away everything in their path.
Several regions received record rainfall. According to reports, the Valencian town Ontinyent experienced 10 times the expected rainfall for September.