PROVINCIA DE CUENCA – Two people died on Saturday evening in Saelices (Cuenca) as a result of heavy rain that fell there. It concerns a married couple living in the neighbouring town of Puebla de Almenara and returning from Madrid.
On the way, they were surprised by the enormous waterspout that turned the CM-310 highway into a river. This was shortly before 9.00 pm. The accident happened near the Archaeological Park of Segóbriga. Like the car of the deceased couple, other vehicles also got stuck.
Rescuers found the man’s lifeless body at sunrise and his wife’s body shortly after 9.30 am Sunday morning. She had disappeared after being dragged by the water. Both were around 70 years old. In Madrid, they had visited a sick son.
“We heard that the Guardia Civil had to rescue them. But we thought they were at home,” Luis Miguel Bustos, mayor of Puebla de Almenara, explained to Cadena SER. The alderman points out that the couple was loved in their city where they had a bakery all their lives. And, furthermore that they were going to participate in a meal from the Municipal Elderly Association next Tuesday. This has now been cancelled following their deaths.
300 litres of heavy rain per m2 accumulated
The mayor spoke of the “terrible news” and the large amounts of water that have accumulated in the region. In some places, it was close to 300 litres per square metre. The force of the flooding was so great that even straw bales weighing more than 2,000 kilograms were swept away by the water.
María Cándida Sánchez, who along with three other people also drove on the road towards Saelices during the storm, stated they endured “terrifying” moments. “We stayed in a speed bump near Segóbriga. The water formed waves that pinned over the car and the guardrail, but there was a moment when the rain stopped and we could start the car and get out,” she said.
Hundreds of people stuck in a hotel
Firefighters also had to intervene to drain water from a hotel complex in Casas de Luján where 100 people were. In the end, they did not have to be evacuated. “The road overflowed and the water entered the complex, reaching a height of one or two meters in some places,” said Carlos Muelas of the provincial fire brigade. The highway, which was closed all night, was reopened on Sunday morning.
Three days of mourning
The president of Castilla-La Mancha, Emiliano García-Page, has expressed his condolences to the family and friends of the deceased couple in a message posted on their social media. The Puebla de Almenara City Council also expressed its condolences for the loss of these two beloved residents and has declared three days of official mourning.