FLOODS

Six people die as torrential rains hit Andalusia and Murcia

Hundreds forced to evacuate their homes

The scene this morning in Villanueva del Rosario, Málaga province.
The scene this morning in Villanueva del Rosario, Málaga province.GARCÍA-SANTOS

Six people have died while hundreds were evacuated from their homes as torrential rains caused flash flooding overnight Thursday and early Friday in the center of Andalusia and in Murcia, emergency services said Friday.

Some 150 liters of rain per square meter fell on the province of Málaga and on neighboring provinces of Seville and Granada. Rainfall was measured as high as 200 liters per square meter in Cádiz.

An elderly woman was found drowned in her flooded home in the town of Álora in Málaga province. Her husband had managed to get out of the house. Another adult and a nine-year-old girl drowned in the district of Esparragal in the region of Murcia after being washed away by a flash flood

A dozen households were forced to abandon their homes in Álora the mayor, José Sánchez, said. A woman was reported missing in the town of Pizarra after her car away in a river.

Thousands of people in the affected areas started the process of mopping up and retrieving vehicles that had been carried away by the floods. The situation in the towns of Villanueva del Rosario and Villanueva del Trabuco became so critical that the army emergency service was called in to help.

The mayor of Villanueva del Rosario, José Antonio González, said the water had risen so much in the town that some houses were no longer visible. He said it reached a height of four meters in streets next to streams feeding into the River Guadalhorce. Some three hundred people were forced to leave their homes. “The place is like a marsh,” the mayor said.

Damaged highways and filled tunnels and brought traffic to a standstill in some areas.

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