British woman missing as nine die in Spain floods

 

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The Independent Online

A 52-year-old British woman has been reported missing in severe flooding which has so far claimed nine lives in southern Spain, authorities said today.

Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes after torrential rain led to flash flooding in the Andalucian provinces of Malaga, Almeria and Murcia.

The woman, who has yet to be named, was reported missing in Almeria, a spokeswoman for the regional government of Andalucia said.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it was looking into the reports as "a matter of urgency".

Heavy downpours and resulting high waters have killed five people in the province of Murcia, three in Almeria and one in Malaga. Five people originally declared missing had 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."

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.

The heavy rain started yesterday morning throughout Spain and follows months of drought and soaring summer temperatures which helped trigger thousands of wildfires.

Meanwhile, 35 people were injured when a tornado swept through a fairground and knocked down a Ferris wheel in Valencia last night.

The tornado damaged several rides and cut electricity at the temporary fair set up in the main square of Gandia, according to its town hall website. It said 15 of the injured were seriously hurt, all of whom were treated on site.

PA

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