Emergency measures in place as downpour makes Spanish rivers overflow

Emergency measures in place as downpour makes Spanish rivers overflow
The Segura river flooding Orihuela after it burst its banks. Photo: Manuel Lorenzo/AFP
Torrential rain which started drenching Spain at the weekend has caused major problems in the south-east of the country, with rivers bursting their banks and roads closed to traffic.

In Murcia, level two of the autonomous community’s anti-flooding civil protection plan has been activated, which means state resources can be called in to battle the problems. Classes have been suspended in 28 municipalities in the community and an amber weather alert is in place following heavy rain in Campo de Cartagena and Mazarron.

More than 20 Murcian roads have been closed. The regional government has recommended that travelling by road on Monday should only be done if absolutely necessary and always via main roads, with secondary and minor roads avoided.

More than 350 people were rescued from cars and residencies in the area at the weekend due to the heavy rain, according to the emergency services.

In the Valencian Community the rain has also been intense, leading to classes being called off in 50 towns across Alicante and Valencia.

The Segura river broke its banks at several points in Orihuela, Alicante, something which hasn’t happened since 1987, and a level one flood warning is in place in the region on Monday, with more water expected to flow into the area from Murcia over the course of the day.

The Segura reached a height of six metres at various points, and at 05:00 on Monday morning flowed over its banks around the Puente del Rey bridge in central Orihuela.

In Valencia’s Ontinyent municipality meanwhile the river Clariano has also overflown, with residents capturing dramatic footage of the intense water on Monday.

Heavy rain has struck the Balearic Islands too, and the downpour is due to move into Catalonia over the course of Monday.