Sunday, September 30, 2012

Deadly floods hit southern Spain


At least 10 people have died after heavy rains triggered flash floods in southern Spain, officials have said. The strength of the floods overturned cars, closed roads and railway lines, damaged bridges and homes, and forced hundreds to leave their properties.
The hardest hit areas were the provinces of Malaga and Almeria, and the Murcia region. Further north in the town of Gandia, a tornado struck a temporary fairground, knocking over a ferris wheel and  injuring 35 people, 15 seriously. Across parts of southern Spain, the clean-up has begun.
Until now, there had been very little rain this year across Spain, and the south was particularly dry after the summer. So much rain, in such a short space of time led to some of the worst flooding Spain has seen in years. At least 600 people had to be evacuated from their homes in the Andalucia region, which contains Malaga and Almeria, officials said.
Some 24.5 cm (9.6 in) of rain fell on Friday morning alone, according to Spain's weather agency.
A regional government spokesperson in Malaga told the AFP news agency the rains were decreasing and seemed to be shifting towards Granada and Almeria. However, torrential rain and violent thunderstorms are predicted to continue in the south of the country over the weekend.
Several persons are still missing and presumed dead. Caroline Zartash-Lloyd, who runs a small hotel in Alora, said that her neighbours had lost livestock, including pigs, hens, horses and donkeys, which could be seen floating in the flood waters. Local people would be hit particularly hard, she suggested, because it was a poor part of Spain with unemployment of 30% and few people could afford insurance.

Bridge destroyed in the town of Alora, Spain, 29 Sept 2012

"Cars were washed away and we lost a large bridge in Alora and another sizeable bridge in [the village of] El Valle de Abadeljais," she said. "The farmland was completely washed away, just after the farmers had stopped ploughing.
The earth's weather is becoming harsher. It's an angry planet. 

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