Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Two Britons killed in taxi among five dead in Majorca flash floods

Spain weather Spain has been hit by widespread torrential rain
Rita Gibson | 11 October, 2018, 12:03

Five people are reported to have died in floods which hit the Spanish island of Majorca overnight.

Antonia Bauza, deputy mayor of Sant Llorenc des Cardassar, the worst-hit town, confirmed that two of the victims were British citizens.

The floodwaters tore down trees, swept numerous cars and trucks into piles of twisted metal and buried streets under mud.

"The most important thing right now is to find the missing people and respond to the concerns of their families and to everyone who lives near the affected areas", he told reporters. An elderly woman's body was found in the basement of her house.

Other victims were found in Arta and the coastal town of S'illot, where the overflowed creek reaches the sea.

Public broadcaster TVE showed footage of flooded streets and overturned cars along the guardrails of a major road.

"It all happened in less than 10 minutes", a witness told Spanish TV.

Rescue workers and military units from the Spanish mainland were heading to the area which is popular with British holidaymakers.

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Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez visited the rescue coordination centre and offered condolences for the victims.

Another resident, Tomas Oliver, cleaned his house as he celebrated that all the damage in his household had been material.

Hundreds of people spent the night in emergency shelters and schools remain closed on Wednesday.

Tuesday evening's rainstorm was "extraordinarily intense but localized", affecting a narrow stretch of land with heavy rainfall concentrated during a short period of time, said Ruben del Campo, spokesman for national weather agency AEMET.

In just two hours, some 180 litres of rain fell and we realised that we could not control the water.

The thunderstorms are still circulating in the region and further torrential rain is expected on Wednesday and Thursday, with southern France and northwest Italy being most at risk of flooding.

A previous version of this story corrected the spelling of the town to Sant Llorenc, not Sant Lorrenc.

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