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Violent thunderstorms, severe winds and flooding caused more than 3,000 people to be evacuated in areas of south-eastern Spain and caused at least six deaths over the weekend, according to Reuters.
Spain’s meteorological office (AEMET) issued an “extreme risk” weather warning for the regions of Valencia, Alicante, Murcia, Almeria and the Balearic Islands, where the storms caused flash flooding, mudslides and even tornado warnings.
Parts of Valencia recorded 300 and 450mm (over 10 inches), of rain over the week; to put that into perspective normal rainfall for the entire month of September ranges from 25-75 mm (1-3 inches) across eastern Spain. This overwhelming amount of rainfall caused damage to local road networks, rail lines and caused rivers to burst their banks.
In Almeria, a man died when a tunnel filled with water, in a matter of minutes. Firefighters were able to save his two passengers but sadly they were too late to save the driver. Other fatalities included siblings, a 61-year-old man and his 51-year-old sister, whose car was swept away in fast moving flood waters near to Valencia.
In light of the dangers, more than 380,000 students were told to stay home as classes were suspended in the regions.
Although, Airports were fighting to stay open through the storms, some were forced to close due to safety concerns of passengers and staff. Balearic Airports in particular, were forced to divert flights to alternative destinations for short periods as the slow-moving storm ravaged Majorca and Ibiza with hail and rain.
All travellers to Spain’s south-eastern regions were asked to check on the status of their flights before leaving for the airport, through fears of passenger backlogs and disruption, which could impact other areas of UK travel system.
You can keep up to date with the latest travel advice via the UK Foreign Office.