Severe weather hits much of Spain

by Deborah Cater
severe weather hit Spain with lightning strikes and flooding

MADRID – The severe weather caused by a DANA affects several parts of Spain with flooding and closed roads and railways. The Ebro Delta has been hit by a devastating flood and a camping emergency has emerged in Tarragona.

In parts of the regions of Madrid, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León and Navarra, the high-level depression (DANA) led to about 9,000 lightning strikes and heavy rain in the early hours of  Wednesday. In Otones de Benjumea (Segovia), lightning struck the roof of a church which subsequently burned down. Another lightning strike caused part of the roof of the Amazon distribution centre in Illescas (Toledo) to collapse. Many buildings and houses were flooded, there were power cuts, falling trees and branches. The Spanish Meteorological Institute had issued a weather alert code orange (important risk) for Wednesday. 

Ebro Delta 

Residents of the Ebro Delta and the surrounding area are advised to stay in their homes and to sleep on upper floors. People are advised not to go to basements or parking garages because of the risk of flooding. Countless calls come in at the emergency centre from people trapped by high water. 

Toledo flooded 

The waterspout that hit part of Toledo province, including the capital, on Wednesday resulted in flooded towns. Furthermore, several dozen cars were stuck on the N-400 connecting the city of Toledo to Benquerencia. 

Madrid and the metro 

In Madrid, the metro service was interrupted in the morning and circulation in some road tunnels was closed. As a result, there were significant traffic jams and delays. 

Region of Valencia 

In Valencia, where the celebration of a late and atypical 2021 Fallas has begun, many are looking with concern at the sky and at the rain expected to really start on Thursday. In Castellón, the ravine of Triator de Vinar has flooded as a result of heavy rainfall in recent hours. Also, some people were trapped in their vehicles, the mayor, Guillem Alsina, informed Efe. 

Emergency services have been working in Vinaròs since noon to rescue all the people trapped in their homes and cars between the south of Taragona and the north of Castellón. 

nederlandse orthopeed

Flooded campsite in Catalonia 

In Els Alfacs de Alcanar (Tarragona), some seventy customers are housed in the communal facilities of the campsite because of damage to a dozen bungalows. There, the storm released 232 litres per square meter, of which 77 litres in just 30 minutes, according to data from the Meteorological Service of Catalonia (SMC). In addition, Alcanar has suffered from flooding in the regions of Montsià and Baix Ebre, in Tarragona. 

Disruptions on the AVE 

In Castilla-La Mancha, the city of Guadamur (Toledo) largely flooded. There, the water was up to one meter high, according to Mayor Sonia Gutiérrez. She also reported the current has dragged many cars, including her own. Furthermore, the Madrid-Toledo AVE service has been interrupted; several routes in the Castilian capital, La Mancha, have been closed to traffic. 

There have also been floods and power cuts in Logroño. In Navarre, the storm is already counted among the most intense of the past decade, according to Peio Oria, representative of Aemet. The N121 highway connecting Caparroso and Los Abetos is closed due to flooding. 

What are the expectations for Thursday? 

The storm has abated, but will continue to wreak havoc on Thursday. In particular the islands of Mallorca and Menorca (yellow warning) in the Balearic Islands. In addition, code orange applies to Tarragona, Castellón and Valencia.  Further code yellow applies to: Huesca, Zaragoza, Teruel, Asturias, Cantabria, Burgos, León, Palencia, Segovia, Soria, Zamora, Cuenca, Guadalajara, Barcelona, ​​Girona, Lleida, Lugo, Ourense, Madrid, Navarra, Álava, Guipúzcoa, Vizcaya and La Rioja. 

According to the AEMET, instability with torrential rains and storms will continue into much of the northern and eastern halves of the peninsula and the Balearic Islands on Thursday. Locally the showers can be strong and accompanied by hail, especially in Castellòn and Valencia in the early morning. 

Less likely and weaker as they move further south-west, other parts of the peninsula and the Balearic Islands may also be affected. Only the southwestern third of Spain, the western Cantabrian coast and the Galician coast is going to get away with it. There only clouds are expected. 

Spanish Prime Minister sympathises 

Prime Minister Sánchez sympathises with all those affected. “My solidarity with all areas affected by the rain of recent hours. Many provinces are alert to heavy rainfall and storms. Thanks to emergency services for their immense work, let us follow their instructions and exercise maximum caution”. 

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