PROVINCE OF BADAJOZ – On Tuesday it is raining in almost the whole country. The heavy rainfall is caused by storm Efraín. It mainly affects the Spanish regions of Extremadura and Castilla La Mancha. Large amounts of water have led to roadblocks and flooding. Consequently, some people had to be saved.
At the moment, the situation is most serious in Extremadura. There, the N-532 highway that connects Cáceres to Badajoz is barred because of a large sinkhole. The town of Zarza de Granadilla (Cáceres) has to deal with numerous floods. Furthermore, it is accessible by only one road. All other roads are closed.
The seriousness of the situation has prompted the Junta de Extremadura to activate the Civil Protection Special Flood Risk Plan (INUNCAEX) to level 1. The City Council of Cuenca has preventively closed access to Júcar and Húercar due to the river’s flooding.
Ten people rescued in Roca de la Sierra
In Roca de la Sierra, emergency services have rescued ten people. They were trapped in the water as a result of the heavy rainfall in recent hours. This has been confirmed by 112 in Extremadura. Moreover, the authorities have accommodated the evacuees in municipal facilities.
“We don’t know where so much water comes from,” mayor of Roca de la Sierra, Jesús Puertas, told Efe. He explained that the municipality’s sewage system and nearby streams and canals could not drain all the water. “The water has entered garages, houses, cellars”, said the mayor of this small village. He added that the emergency services did not report personal damage. The affected residents are now being cared for in the local retirement home. The centre of the village is only accessible through one road. The rest is under water. From the A66 motorway, Roca de la Sierra can only be reached via the La Granja exit, as another access road is also flooded.
Sinkhole in the N-523
The rain has also led to numerous roadblocks in Extremadura, including the N-523, which connects the cities of Cáceres and Badajoz. This is closed to car traffic along the entire route and in both directions because of the many waterfalls and a large sinkhole caused by all the water, the government delegation reports.
Also, the EX-110 is flooded and inaccessible between Zapatón and Puerto de los Conejeros. The road is blocked at the intersection with the BA008 and the EX-325 near Alburquerque. The same goes for the EX -214, between the municipalities of Alburquerque and Villar del Rey.
Storm Efraín Extremadura: 95 incidents registered
According to the regional government, emergency service 112 in Extremadura has received a total of 484 calls since 00:00 on Tuesday. In addition, a total of 95 incidents were registered. 29 of these were related to adverse meteorological phenomena.
Emergencies, Civil Defense and Home Affairs general manager Nieves Villar has stated that “a lot of rain” is expected until mid-Tuesday afternoon and that due to the heavy rain, the situation has moved from one of “relative calm” to another with numerous incidents, mainly in La Roca de la Sierra and Cáceres, but also in Valdeíñigos, Torrejón el Rubio and Hervás.
Ten Spanish regions brace themselves for rain, wind or rough seas
Storm Efrain will keep ten autonomous communities on alert on Tuesday. Meteorological Agency Aemet expects a lot of rain, strong gusts of wind, and rough seas. Heavy rain is expected in seven of these communities in the southern half of the peninsula. In parts of Extremadura and Castilla La Mancha, they can expect an accumulation of more than 100 litres per square metre in 48 hours.
In Andalucia, Aemet gives Almería an orange warning (significant risk) due to maximum wind gusts from the west of up to 90 kilometres per hour and strong swells with waves between 3 and 4 metres. Cádiz, Córdoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaén, Málaga and Seville have a yellow level (risk). This is due to rain up to 15 litres in an hour, wind and unfavourable coastal phenomena.
Castilla La Mancha
Castilla La Mancha has activated the rain alert in the mountains of Toledo. Here, predictions expect accumulations of up to 80 litres in 12 hours. In the rest of the community, the yellow alert remains due to winds between 70-80 kilometres per hour or due to rain, 40 litres in 12 hours.
In Extremadura, Aemet maintains the orange level in the two provinces due to rainfall. This will leave 80 litres in 12 hours. Meteorologists expect the highest incidence in Las Vegas del Guadiana (Badajoz), in Montánchez and in Villuercas (Cáceres). During the rainy period until Tuesday evening, at some points meteorologists expect over 100 litres per square metre in 48 hours.
Wind from the southwest of 60 to 70 km/h (force 8) and waves of 4 metres keep the region of Murcia alert.
Meanwhile, in Aragon, the Balearic Islands, Castilla y León, Galicia, the Community of Madrid, the Valencian Community and the city of Ceuta, there is a yellow warning for rain, wind or rough seas.
Aemet reports on Twitter that December 12 is the rainiest day in all of Spain so far this year.