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WEATHER

Dutch national missing in Spain’s flooded Alicante

Rescuers were on Monday searching for a Dutch national reported missing in the town of Dolores in Alicante province, police said. Spain's worst storms in 140 years have so far claimed six lives.

Dutch national missing in Spain's flooded Alicante
Photo: AFP

The alarm was raised on Sunday afternoon after a member of the public reported seeing “a body sucked into the water in a canal” in Dolores, a town 40 kilometres (25 miles) southeast of Alicante.

The person was believed to be a 66-year-old Dutch man, a police spokesman said.

Southeastern Spain has been battered since Thursday by torrential rains, causing huge flooding and chaos on the roads in several provinces, leaving many areas cut off.

Six people have died as a result of the flood and rescuers have evacuated thousands of people from their homes with the help of some 1,300 troops.

After causing havoc in the regions of Valencia, Murcia and western Andalucia, the storm has since moved towards the central and west of the country, causing widespread flooding.

On Monday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez was again visiting several affected areas, this time in the southern region of Andalucia and in Castilla La Mancha in the centre.

Only several central and northern regions were on alert for intense rain on Monday, Spain's AEMET weather agency said, flagging Castilla La Mancha, Castilla y Leon, La Rioja, Aragon and Galicia in the far northwest.

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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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