Britons killed in flash floods
Torrential downpours caused chaos in Mallorca
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 Llo- renç, 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 MeteOrihuela 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.