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Spain: floods kill five people


Record rainfall in the south-east has also forced the evacuation of over 3,500 people and the closure of roads, airports and schools.

The Segura River overflowed at Orihuela, near Murcia, Spain, on September 13th. JON NAZCA / REUTERS

Some areas in southeastern Spain have broken records over the last few days in rainfall, causing water to overflow and killing five people in two days, authorities said on Friday. September.

The last dead body to be found is a man in the Redovan area, about 50 kilometers southwest of the city of Alicante, said without providing further details a spokesman for Rescuers. Some of the 8,000 residents of the small town of Redovan had knee-high water on Friday and others were busy emptying their flooded homes.

Earlier in the day, a 36-year-old man was discovered between the localities of La Jamula and Salazar in Andalusia, the emergency services of this region were told on Twitter. A spokesman told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that an empty car was first found and that the body of the driver was located by firefighters in a helicopter.

Another man - "middle aged" according to the emergency services - died drowned early Friday morning in Almeria in the same region. He could not get out of a car trapped in a tunnel "flooded in minutes because of the large amount of water fell," according to the town hall of the city. One policeman was able to save two more people in the vehicle, but the "occupant was stuck " , Mayor Ramon Fernandez-Pacheco told Radio Cadena Ser.

On Thursday, the authorities had already announced that a 61-year-old man and his 51-year-old sister had succumbed in their car washed away by the water, in Caudete, in the region of Castilla-La Mancha.

Redovan is one of the cities affected by the floods that hit southeast Spain on 13 September. JOSE JORDAN / AFP

Rescuers on a jet ski

Video footage broadcast by the emergency services shows lifeguards moving on jet-ski on a flooded highway, streams of brown water crossing streets, or submerged cars.

In total, more than 3,500 people were evacuated, told the AFP the Ministry of the Interior. At least 74 roads were closed due to the floods, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, Minister of the Interior, also told the press "a dramatic situation" . About 3,000 members of law enforcement or military are mobilized for relief operations, he said.

The airport of the city of Murcia remained closed for the day. The (regional) Almeria was also closed for several hours. In addition, 22 scheduled flights to Palma, on the popular tourist island of Majorca in the Balearic archipelago, have been diverted to other Spanish airports, according to the airport manager Aena. Last year in October, floods had killed 13 people in Majorca whose inhabitants had been taken aback by the rising water of a torrent following torrential rains.

Tangle of cars after floods in Los Alcazares, Spain, September 13th. SERGIO PEREZ / REUTERS

" Critical situation "

The train traffic has been suspended on several lines in the regions of Valencia and Murcia, announced the national company operating the Spanish railways, Renfe.

"The situation remains critical. I ask that no one leave home , " said Murcia region president Fernando Lopez Miras on public television.

Schools remained closed throughout the region of Murcia and in several localities in the province of Almeria, according to the Ministry of the Interior. In Valencia alone, more than 689,000 students were exempted from class, said the regional government.

Source: lemonde

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