BARCELONA – Terrassa, located in Barcelona, was hit by a severe storm on Tuesday afternoon, causing a torrential downpour that resulted in widespread flooding within just over an hour.
Water gushed knee-deep through the streets, basements were submerged, and even the entrance of the parking garage at Doctor Robert Square in the city centre was flooded. Around three o’clock in the afternoon, a wall collapsed under the heavy rainfall. This led to the evacuation of the National Science and Technology Museum (Mnactec) on Rambla d’Ègara. Fortunately, the firefighters from Generalitat intervened, and no injuries were reported.
Municipal Emergency Plan Activated
In the early afternoon, Mayor Jordi Ballart of Terrassa activated the municipal emergency plan in the warning phase, anticipating the forthcoming complex weather conditions. The sight of Riera de les Arenes, filled with muddy water rushing down at high speed after months of drought, left a lasting impression on the older residents of Terrassa, who still vividly remember the floods of 1962. A total of 92 litres of water per square metre fell. And in some places it was even more.
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Sheep and Goats Swept Away by the Water
The situation also spiralled out of control for a local shepherd. Caught off guard by the severe weather with his herd of goats and sheep, several animals were swept away by the water downstream. “A team of volunteers, residents, and firefighters managed to rescue some animals alive, although the shepherd was deeply affected,” said local photographer Cristóbal Castro.
400 Emergency Calls
In the afternoon, Protecció Civil received around 400 emergency calls, with the majority of reports related to flooding. Of these, 234 calls came from Vallès Occidental and 174 from Terrassa itself. Osona received 62 emergency calls, and in Castellbell I el Vilar, 4 individuals were rescued from a car trapped in the riera de Marganell.
According to the Meteorological Service of Catalonia, during the peak of the storm, 46.2 litres of water per square metre fell within just 30 minutes. Before the event, Meteocat had issued a warning for extreme weather with a risk score of 6 out of 6 due to the heavy rainfall, with an intensity exceeding 40 litres per square metre.
The C-16 highway was blocked in both directions near Terrassa, between kilometres 22 and 24 since half past three in the afternoon. However, by around five o’clock, the road had reopened. The B-40 road was also closed in the area near Roca del Vallès, over a distance of 4 kilometres, from half past four in the afternoon, due to flooding caused by the storm.
Towards the end of the evening, the southern region of Catalonia also experienced severe weather conditions. The resulting floods caused significant damage and disruptions in Terrassa and surrounding areas.