Body of 52-year-old British expat Diana Dudas discovered after Spanish flash floods

 

The body of a British expat who went missing amid severe flash flooding in Spain has been found, her friend said today.

Diana Dudas, 52, was reported missing in the town of Vera, Almeria, after torrential rain hit the area leaving at least 10 others dead.

Her friend Genny Sutcliffe, 56, said Mrs Dudas had a Spanish husband, Javier, and had lived in Spain for many years.

She said: "I was told that her body was found washed up in the lagoon. I'm not sure exactly when it was that she went missing, but the heavy rain started on Thursday night."

She said she did not believe Mrs Dudas had any children, but had other family living in the UK.

She had her own holistic therapy clinic and hairdressers in the town and had just written a book.

She added: "She was absolutely lovely, very warm, very caring and with a great sense of humour. We are absolutely devastated."

Mrs Sutcliffe said her own home had not been affected by the flooding as she lived on higher ground.

Speaking of where Mrs Dudas went missing, she said: "The devastation in that area is horrendous. I saw a house that had a car that had been swept into its front garden and a car in its back garden.

"A lot of people aren't going to be able to return to their homes for months."

A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it was looking into the incident and liaising with local authorities.

Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes in the Andalucian provinces of Malaga, Almeria and Murcia after heavy downpours.

Those who have died include two children who were found drowned in a car in Puerto Lumbreras in Murcia, Spanish national radio reported, while it said an elderly man was found dead near the town's cemetery.

But five people originally declared missing have been found alive.

Jackie Broad, 58, said her home in Mojacar, Almeria, was too high up to be flooded but she had seen cars get washed away by raging torrents of water.

She said: "The river at the bottom of our road has burst its banks. There was a lot of water, in some places up to the roofs of shops and houses.

"The water has run away now but it's left about a foot of mud everywhere. A lot of the roads are closed so we're having trouble getting around."

The heavy rain follows months of drought and soaring summer temperatures which helped trigger thousands of wildfires.

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