Man drowns as heavy rain lashes Spain’s northeastern coast

Record rainfall caused power cuts and serious traffic disruptions near Barcelona

The N-II road in Vilassar de Mar on Wednesday.
The N-II road in Vilassar de Mar on Wednesday.

A 60-year-old man was drowned on Wednesday as heavy rainfall hit the central coast of Spain’s Catalonia region.

The man died when his car was swept away by flood waters which had risen in the inundated Cabrils flood channel, 25 kilometers north of Barcelona in the Maresme coastal area.

Emergency services located the victim’s empty car and then found his body several hours later. Sources close to the investigation said the vehicle was swept away after he drove through security tape that had been put up to stop people crossing the flood channel.

An emergency services tweet warning people not travel, given the dangerous conditions.

The accident came on a day of heavy rainfall in the region, which saw train lines and roads closed as well as causing serious power outages.

Maresme bore the brunt of the bad weather, with some 2,300 homes left without power during the afternoon and evening.

The heaviest rainfall was registered in Cabrils, which saw 207.4 liters per square meter over the course of the day, a record figure. Various other towns in the Maresme clocked up falls of more than 200 liters per square meter, according to the Catalan meteorological agency.

A flooded pedestrian tunnel in Vilassar de Mar.
A flooded pedestrian tunnel in Vilassar de Mar.@CarlotaDicenta

By 10pm on Wednesday emergency services in Barcelona had received some 800 calls, with more than half of those coming from the Maresme area. Most of the calls taken by the fire brigade were related to flooding of streets, patios and basements but storm conditions meant personnel were unable to attend in many cases.

Authorities have been warning people not to drive in the area affected by the floods. They have also told people not to enter flooded garages or basements as water levels can rise rapidly.

Spain’s national meteorological agency issued a weather warning for Catalonia on Thursday with heavy rain and high seas expected during the course of the day.

English version by George Mills.


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