Tornado in Ibiza, flashfloods in Catalonia: One dead and four missing

At least one person has died after storms hit Spain causing flashfloods across Catalonia and the Balearic Islands.

Tornado in Ibiza, flashfloods in Catalonia: One dead and four missing
Photo: AFP

A body washed up on the beach in Caldes d’Estrac, thought to be a 70 year-old man was who swept away in his car by flashfloods in Arenys de Munt.

Meanwhile emergency teams were searching for a mother and son, whose prefab home was swept away by flood waters in Vilaverd, a village some 30 kilometres (20 miles) from the port of Tarragona.

Rescuers were also looking for two people whose car was found in a river near the village of l'Espluga de Francoli in the same area.

Authorities said heavy overnight rainfall in the northeastern region of Catalonia caused power cuts that affected nearly 25,000 people and forced the closure of over 40 roads due to flooding and landslides.

At least three people in San Antonio on Ibiza were injured after a hut on a construction site in which they were sheltering from the storms was ripped off the ground by a tornado.

Strong winds brought torrential rainfall discharging some 130 litres of water per square metre during the ‘gota fria’, a weather phenomenon caused by an upper-level isolated depression known as a DANA in Spain.

The storms uprooted trees causing blockages on several roads across Ibiza and the main road to the airport was closed due to a flood.

During the course of the night the storm moved across the Balearics to the mainland, hitting Valencia region and Castellon province before moving north to Catalonia.

Spain’s weather agency AEMET issued red alerts for several provinces in the northeast region on Wednesday morning.

This map reveals the location of lightening strikes during the storms on Tuesday evening and through the night.

Emergency serivices in Catalonia reported that within a period of eight hours, they had received 2,725 calls during the storms 


READ MORE:  Gota Fría: Spain on flood alert as temperatures plummet and storms forecast

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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.