Search continues for three people missing after severe weather

by Lorraine Williamson
three people still missing

MADRID – The Spanish emergency services and the Guardia Civil resumed the search for the three missing people in the Madrid region and the province of Toledo on Wednesday morning. This follows the devastating consequences of last weekend’s severe weather. 

However, expectations of finding the three alive are low. A middle-aged man is being sought in Madrid whose car was swept away by the Alberche River in Aldea del Fresno on Sunday night. He was travelling with his wife and two children, who were fortunately found alive. One of the children was rescued after being stuck in a tree for 12 hours. Another missing person is an 83-year-old man, who was swept away by the current in Villamanta, near his home in the Jirfa residential area. 

 

A woman disappears in Toledo 

In Toledo, it concerns a woman who has been missing since Sunday night. She was with her car on the CM-4004 road near Valmojado. After two days of searching, the Madrid region’s emergency centre Emergencias 112 admits that hopes of finding the missing alive are waning. If she was still alive and conscious, they would probably have been found by now. 

Intensive efforts by emergency services 

In Madrid, the Guardia Civil deployed divers from the Special Group for Underwater Activities (GEAS) and a team of specialised dogs. In addition, approximately thirty people are active on the site. This includes firefighters, members of the Special Altitude Rescue Group (GERA), and forest and civil protection officers. Coordination helicopters and a team of drones are also present. 

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Also read: Two dead, three missing and a lot of damage due to severe weather in Spain 

Advanced command posts have been set up in both Aldea del Fresno and Villamanta. These are the two hardest-hit towns, to coordinate the search efforts. 

Obstacles remain 

Although the water level of the Alberche has dropped, allowing emergency services to re-explore previously searched areas, obstacles such as accumulated branches and sand continue to complicate the work. In the meantime, clean-up work in the worst-affected areas also continues. The Consorcio de Seguros has already received more than 1,800 claims for compensation. Sadly, with each passing hour, the hope of finding the missing alive fades. But the intensive searches continue unabated in a race against time. 

Also read: Flood-prone Spain: More than one million homes build in high-risk areas 

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