Campanillas under water again as heavy rain and storms batter Malaga province

The streets of Campanillas on Tuesday morning.
The streets of Campanillas on Tuesday morning. / Salvador Salas
  • Record rainfall in Malaga inflicted more damage on the area just two months after devastating floods

Heavy rain and storms on Monday night into Tuesday morning deposited up to 80mm of rain in parts of Malaga province, causing flooding in some areas - most notably in the Campanillas area.

In this outlying district of Malaga city, next to the PTA high-tech-business park, firefighters and civil protection officers were dispatched to the area at 9am on Tuesday to help clear water from the main roads which were cut off by the early afternoon.

Residents had been keeping a close eye on the situation throughout the night, nervous of a repeat of the devastation caused by rain and mud at the end of January. Many households still haven't recovered, with the damage estimated to be in the millions.

Initial reports suggested that the damage was limited to water entering basements in some houses. However, by late Tuesday, it had become apparent that a number of homes had suffered the same fate as only two months previously.

One of the main streets in Campanillas.

One of the main streets in Campanillas. / Salvador Salas

"The whole basement is flooded again. In the living room, the sofa, the table, the bed, the TV... everything is floating," said Toñi Martín.

"It's hopeless"

Everything she described was practically brand new. They were replacements for all of the items the family had to throw away after the flooding in January. The family still hasn't received any financial assistance from the city hall from that period: "All they do is ask for more and more papers. It's hopeless."

Other outlying areas off the A-7058, including La Fresnada and Colmenarejo, were also cut off, as well as the access road to the La Huertecilla industrial estate, where vehicles were left stranded.

In the Colmenarejo neighbourhood, which is part of the Campanillas district, dozens of residents were trapped in their homes after a stream flooded, dragging water, mud and stones right up to their front doors.

One of them, Sofía Benítez, told SUR that the water had "not yet" entered her house, but that the debris meant that she wasn't able to leave. "It's always the same," she said. "Every time it rains it floods and the entrance to my home is covered in stones and mud. This is worse than what happened in January but they won't do anything about it."

Puerto de la Torre, another outlying district to the north-west of the city, was affected too, with trees and traffic lights falling because of the wind.

The emergency services received around 20 calls, all from Malaga city, except two from Alhaurín de la Torre where streets were also flooded.

Elsewhere in the province, the worst weather-related incident was that of a fatal car accident in Marbella, caused by the heavy rain, according to the DGT.

Record rainfall

Monday night's storm front reached its climax as it reached the Malaga city area, leaving record rainfall figures in its wake.

Eighty-eight millimetres fell in El Atabal (according to data from Hidrosur), while Aemet counted 82 at its weather station in El Cónsul, 78 in El Limonero and 52 at the airport.

Taking the latter as a point of reference, if the historical average is 534mm per year, in less than 24 hours almost 10 per cent of that amount was recorded.

The good news is that the reservoirs and irrigation channels are going to gain water reserves just when they are most needed, at the start of the high summer season.