Bri­tons killed in flash floods

Tor­ren­tial down­pours caused havoc in Mal­lorca

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - By Dave Jones

NINE peo­ple – in­clud­ing two Bri­tons – have been con­firmed dead and nine oth­ers are miss­ing af­ter tor­ren­tial storms hit Mal­lorca on Tues­day evening.

The re­gional au­thor­i­ties stated that Bri­tish tourists are among those who are still un­ac­counted for.

Emer­gency ser­vices re­vealed that tor­rents of wa­ter caused by the in­tense rain­fall had caused the deaths.

The worst of the weather hit the mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Sant Lorenç des Car­das­sar, near Mana­cor in the east of hol­i­day is­land – with state news agency EFE stat­ing that this was the ‘cen­tre of the catas­tro­phe’.

Emer­gency ser­vices launched a search and res­cue op­er­a­tion on Tues­day night when the full scale of the flood­ing and dev­as­ta­tion be­came ap­par­ent.

Guardia Civil, fire­men, lo­cal po­lice and Protec­ción Civil vol­un­teers worked through the night to lo­cate peo­ple who may be trapped or had been swept away by the flood wa­ter.

The first two vic­tims were found in Sant Llorenç in the early hours of yes­ter­day (Wed­nes­day).

Deputy mayor of Sant Llorenç, An­to­nia Bauza said two Bri­tons who died were trav­el­ling in a taxi which was swept away by the flood wa­ter.

She noted that the driver of the ve­hi­cle is still miss­ing.

Emer­gency ser­vices re­ported that two peo­ple were found dead in their own homes af­ter tor­rents surged through their prop­er­ties and they were un­able to es­cape.

Me­te­o­rol­o­gist Pedro Gómez from Mete-Ori­huela noted that 220 litres per square me­tre of rain had fallen in around two hours, caus­ing the catas­tro­phe.

Videos shot by res­i­dents and placed on so­cial me­dia show a tor­rent of wa­ter surg­ing through Sant Llorenç, sweep­ing away ve­hi­cles and al­most any­thing in its path.

The mayor of Sant Llorenç re­ported that peo­ple who had been stay­ing in ru­ral tourism ac­com­mo­da­tion were also miss­ing af­ter the com­plex had been hit by the flood wa­ter.

Re­gional coun­cil­lor for pub­lic ad­min­is­tra­tion, Catalina Cladera told Cadena SER ra­dio sta­tion yes­ter­day morn­ing that emer­gency ser­vices ex­pected to find the miss­ing peo­ple as the wa­ter lev­els sub­sided.

She de­scribed the scenes in the area as ‘dev­as­tat­ing’.

“We didn’t ex­pect this,” she stated.

“The weather alert went from yel­low to or­ange in a very short time.

“An enor­mous amount of wa­ter fell in a very short time.”

Emer­gency ser­vices were able to evac­u­ate around 100 peo­ple from their homes who were in dan­ger from the flood wa­ter.

They spent the night in a sports cen­tre in Mana­cor.

Emer­gency ser­vices re­ported that nine roads in the east of Mal­lorca had been closed due to land slides or flood­ing.

They warned peo­ple to stay in their homes yes­ter­day and or­dered par­ents not to al­low their chil­dren to go to school in the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties of Sant Llorenç, la Colò­nia de Sant Pere, Artà and Son Servera.

EFE re­ported that the tor­rents had caused ex­ten­sive dam­age and the min­istry of de­fence had sent 80 soldiers and seven ve­hi­cles from the UME emer­gency unit based in Va­len­cia to the is­land to help out in the cri­sis.

Prime Min­is­ter Pedro Sánchez an­nounced he would visit the af­fected ar­eas yes­ter­day.

As Costa Blanca News went to press nine peo­ple were still re­ported to be miss­ing, ac­cord­ing to the emer­gency ser­vices.

Photo EFE

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