In pics: Easter floods tear through Spain’s Costa Blanca

The holiday hotspot of Alicante in eastern Spain has experienced some of the heaviest rainfall in its history, leading to the evacuation of more than 300 people during these Easter holidays. Here are photos and videos that tell the story.

In pics: Easter floods tear through Spain’s Costa Blanca
Photo: Twiitter

The Easter weather forecast was one of showers for most of Spain but no one expected the rain to come down quite as heavily as it has done for the past three days in and around the city of Alicante. 

In the nearby town of Jávea (Xabia) Sunday’s downpour saw 250 litres of rainfall for every square metre, flooding hundreds of homes and leaving cars floating in the streets like corn flakes in a cereal bowl.

Fortunately no casualties have been reported but rescue teams did have to evacuate over 100 people from the town.

A further 70 were evacuated in nearby Denia and taken to safety in the car park of the town’s local hospital.

Heavy rainfall and storms have been ravaging the Alicante area since Thursday.

As well as the flash floods, wind speeds have reached 100km/h along Spain’s central eastern coastline.

The neighbouring regions of Safor, Ribera Alta and Ribera Baja were also given the red alert for extreme weather conditions by Spain’s meteorology agency AEMET.

In fact, most of the whole autonomous community of Comunidad Valenciana, including its capital Valencia and regions in the interior have experienced at least 100 litres/sqm during the prolonged storm period.

Numerous ports in the region have had to stop operations due to waves of up to three metres in height.

The bad weather has spoiled travel plans for the hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit Spain's Costa Blanca during the Easter period. Around 2.2 million people visited Alicante alone in 2017.

According to local government figures from 2018, the province of Alicante is home to more than 67,000 Brits, as well as more than 15,000 Dutch and German residents respectively as well as large numbers of Norwegians and Swedes.


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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.