Tourist dies after freak 'mini tsunami' hits Spanish holiday islands

MINI TSUNAMI: Flooding in Port d'Alcudia, Mallorca MINI TSUNAMI: Flooding in Port d'Alcudia, Mallorca Facebook / ViralesMallorca

A FREAK 'mini tsunami' has hit the holiday island hotspots of Mallorca and Menorca in Spain leaving one person dead.

A father-of-two German tourist died in the presence of his family after being dragged out to sea by a big wave in Sa Cova Blanca (Santanyí) on Mallorca.

The meteotsunami caused a 5ft (1.5m) wave to hit the islands on Monday morning causing flooding to beachfront roads and restaurants.

Authorities and business owners now face a large clean-up operation during the peak holiday season.

Ciutadella, on the west coast of Menorca, and the port of Alcudia in the north of Mallorca were both affected on Monday.

Video footage posted on social media showed water rushing across roads and flooding seafront properties.

A meteotsunami - or rissaga - is triggered when there are rapid changes in barometric pressure following fast-moving weather events such as thunderstorms.

A meteotsunami that struck Nagasaki Bay on March 31, 1979 achieved a maximum wave height of 5 metres and there were three fatalities. A three-metre wave that hit the Chicago waterfront in 1954 swept people off piers, drowning seven.

Karl Smallman

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