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WEATHER

Death toll in Mallorca floods rises to ten

Ten people have been confirmed dead in flash floods caused by torrential rain that hit the Balearic Island on Tuesday evening.

Death toll in Mallorca floods rises to ten
At least 15 people are missing after cars were swept away in flash floods. Photo: InfoEmergencias

A British couple are confirmed to be among ten people who died when flash floods caused by torrential rain hit the Balearic Island on Tuesday evening.

A sixth person was confirmed dead by authorities on the island at around 11am on Wednesday

Another two more bodies, both of men, were discovered at Arta and s'Illot, confirmed emergency services on the island in a tweet:

A ninth victim was confirmed dead by authorities who said nine others were still missing.

Images show cars being swept away in the torrents as homes were flooded and residents sought safety on rooftops.

The worst affected area was around the town of Sant Llorenç in the northeast of the island. 

Antonia Bauza, deputy mayor of Sant Llorenç des Cardassar, told Spanish radio that two British nationals were among the dead.   

She added that there were also Britons among the missing.

The British couple were reportedly swept to their deaths as the taxi in which they were travelling was engulfed by surging flood water. The taxi driver is missing.

Victims include a 71-year old man who drowned after becoming trapped in his basement by rising water and an 83 year old man found dead after his car was swept away.

At least 20 people were reported to be still missing.

“It has been a hard night, but I think this day will be even harder,” said Rosario Sanchez, the mayor of Sant Llorenç, confirming that three men and two women – among them the British couple – had so far been confirmed dead.

Emergency services teams spent the night rescuing people trapped by flood water.

Emergency troops and equipment has been sent to the island to deal with the catastrophe.

Hundreds spent the night in the sports centre in Manaxor after being evacuated from their homes for fear of rising flood water.

Up to 220 litres of water per square meter fell during the late afternoon on Tuesday in the Sant Llorenç area of the island, said the Balearic Island government authority, which has launched an emergency action plan.

Images on social media show the devastation.

The floods have damaged roads and swept away bridges after the river burst its banks.

 

Red alerts have also been issued for the Costa del Sol region where storms are expected to bring torrential rain on Wednesday. 

 

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez tweeted his “solidary and support for the relatives and friends of the victims, and for all those affected by this tragic flooding”. His office announced that he would be travelling to the affected zone on Wednesday. 

 

READ ALSO: Mallorca survivor: 'I climbed through car window and swam 500m to safety'

WEATHER

Spain urges holidaymakers to head home early due to snow and strong wind warnings

Nine Spanish regions were put on alert on Tuesday for heavy snow, rain and strong winds, with the country's traffic authorities calling for people taking holidays this long weekend to head home early to avoid the worst of the bad weather.

Spain urges holidaymakers to head home early due to snow and strong wind warnings
Vehicles stuck in traffic due to a heavy snowfall near Burgos, northern Spain, in March 2021. Photo: Cesar Manso/AFP

Aragón, Castilla y León, Catalonia, Navarra and the Basque Country will be on orange alert from Tuesday for snow storms, while Asturias, Cantabria, La Rioja and La Comunidad Valenciana are on the less-severe yellow alert, Spain’s State Meteorological Agency (Aemet) announced.

A slight increase in temperatures will increase the risk of avalanches in the Pyrenees and the central Cantabrian mountain range.

Some roads in the north of the country are already being affected by snow and are being restricted to some traffic such as trucks and heavy vehicles.

Spain’s traffic authority (DGT) called on residents in the northern half of the country to return early from the puente (long weekend) marked by the public holidays of December 6 and 8, ahead of heavy snow forecast for Wednesday.

Of the 108 main roads affected by the heavy snow in Spain, almost half of them are in the northeastern region Aragón.

Aragón, Catalonia and Navarra are at risk of avalanches, according to data from Aemet, while a storm warning has been issued for the coastal areas of Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Catalonia and the Basque country.

Heavy rainfall is expected in Galicia, extending to Cantabria and the western Pyrenees.

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