1 February 2009: Tornado causes eight million euros of damage across Malaga

Extensive damage to the bus station roof.
Extensive damage to the bus station roof. / CARLOS MORET

  • According to the Spanish Met Office, it was one of the strongest ever tornados to have hit mainland Spain

The western side of Malaga city painted a bleak picture on Monday 2 February 2009, the morning after a tornado swept through the city at speeds of between 185 and 220 kilometres per hour.

Roofs of buildings had been blown off, trees had been pulled up by their roots and cars had been smashed by flying bricks and fences. The worst hit areas were the San Andrés, Carretera de Cádiz and Cruz del Humilladero neighbourhoods, though parts of the city centre were affected too.

As well as the damage to buildings and parked vehicles, 35 people had to be re-housed in hotels, while hundreds of others went to stay with relatives.

A total of 25 people were treated for cuts and other injuries but only one was kept in hospital overnight.

The tornado started up at around 9.25pm on the western side of the city, close to the Valdicio industrial estate, and advanced in the direction of the city centre.

With winds of up to 220 kilometres per hour, the tornado gained the EF2 classification (considerable damage caused).

According to the Spanish Met Office (Aemet), this was one of worst tornados to have hit mainland Spain since records began more than 150 years previously.

The bill for the damage caused was estimated at around eight million euros. Industrial warehouses and buildings, including the Municipal Transport Company (EMT) garages (where the tornado caused damage to 40 buses as well as the building itself), were among those worst affected.

The most striking damage, however, was caused to city's main bus station where the tornado removed the roof completely, with some parts landing in Plaza de la Merced, more than two kilometres away.