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Aerial view of San Javier in Murcia on Friday.
Aerial view of San Javier in Murcia on Friday. / LA VERDAD

Historic storm wreaks havoc along east coast as a third victim is killed

  • Almeria, Valencia, Alicante and Murcia were the four provinces most affected

  • Areas of Aragón and Castilla-La Mancha were under threat as the weather front moved inland on Friday

Much of the east and south-east of Spain found itself underwater on Friday morning after the most devastating flash floods in memory.

It remains impossible to calculate the damage caused to infrastructure, industry, fields and private property, which will take years to repair. The floods followed downpours caused by the historic DANA (isolated high-level depression), which claimed its third fatality on Friday in Almeria, when a driver became trapped in a flooded tunnel.

In the town of Orihuela, Murcia.

In the town of Orihuela, Murcia. / REUTERS

Almeria, Valencia, Alicante and Murcia were the four provinces most affected by Friday, suffering road disruptions, flooded motorways, overflowing rivers, destroyed railway systems, flooded homes, and the closing of schools and places of work.

In some areas, the volume of rain which has fallen since the beginning of the storm had reached 500 litres per square metre. Beniarrés (Alicante), Orihuela (Alicante), Ontinyent (Valencia) and Muro (Alicante) have recorded the highest volumes of rainfall.

The rain continued to hammer down on Friday, heading inland and threatening large areas of Aragón and Castilla-La Mancha.

The storm has killed three people so far. The death of two brothers in Albacete, trapped in their vehicle by the water, was followed by the death of a third person in the early hours of Friday morning in a tunnel on the road between Níjar and Los Molinos, when two vehicles entered the tunnel without realising that it was completely submerged.

In Almeria, meteorologists have replaced the red warning with amber on Friday morning. Schools and the provincial airport remain closed, however, and rescue teams have been working to evacuate 70 people camping in Cabo de Gata, near Pujaire.