Multiple dead, missing as torrential rains lash Spain

At least three people have died and another three missing after heavy rains lashed drought-hit Spain, triggering flash floods that closed Madrid metro lines and high-speed rail links.

Two people died in the central province of Toledo as a result of the storm, the head of the regional government of Castilla La Mancha, Emiliano Garcia-Page, said on Monday, without giving details.

Spanish media said a man was found dead by police during a rescue attempt on a road near the town of Bargas while another man died as rescuers tried to reach him in the town of Casarrubios del Monte.

Police announced on Monday afternoon that the body of a man in his 50s was found near a river in the town of Camarena, also in the province of Toledo.

Rescue operations

Emergency services were looking for a man who went missing after his car was swept away early on Monday by a swollen river in the rural area of Aldea del Fresno west of Madrid, a spokesman from Madrid's emergency services, Javier Chi ite, told public television RTVE.

Firefighters found his 10-year-old son — who was also in the car and was initially reported as missing — on Monday on top of a tree, he added. Emergency services had rescued the boy's mother and sister earlier in the day.

"The poor boy spent the night perched in a tree," the head of the regional government of Madrid, Isabel Diaz Ayuso, told reporters.

Police were also looking for an 83-year-old man who was swept away by floodwaters in the neighbouring town of Villamanta, as well as for a woman who went missing in the town of Valmojado in Toledo, local emergency services said.

A helicopter was deployed to rescue people who sought safety on the roofs of their homes in Toledo.

Mobile phone alert system

On Sunday, residents of the Madrid region received an emergency text in Spanish and English accompanied by a loud alarm urging them not to use their vehicles and to stay at home due to the "extreme risk of storms".

It was the first time the authorities had used this mobile phone alert system.

Several theatres closed early on Sunday, and the day's football match between Atletico Madrid and Sevilla was suspended.

A number of metro lines were closed in Madrid during the morning rush hour on Monday due to flooding caused by heavy overnight rains, although by the mid-afternoon they were all open again.

High-speed rail links between Madrid and the southwestern region of Andalusia and the east coast region of Valencia, which closed on Sunday, reopened on Monday although trains were running at slower speeds in some sections, railway operator Renfe said.


Source: TRT