Spain weather forecast: Red alerts for ‘worst rain in 23 years’ with two dead, flooding and La Liga cancelled
Two people were killed, roads were flooded and houses inundated as Spain was lashed by torrential rain and high winds, as forecasters warned people to stay in their homes in Madrid and other cities.
Two people drowned on Saturday while they went canyoning in Huesca in eastern Spain in heavy rain, police said.
The Spanish Meteorological Agency (AEMET) put out a maximum red alert on Sunday which means people could be in extreme danger.
The warnings applied to the Spanish capital, the region of Toledo in central Spain, the city of Cádiz in the south and Tarragona in the northeast.
However, in parts of Tarragona, northeastern Spain, 243 litres per square metre of rain fell over 12 hours overnight on Saturday, the largest downpour in 23 years, authorities said.
Des de l'inici del temporal hem rebut uns 150 avisos a la #RETerresEbre, la immensa majoria per inundacions a Alcanar, Santa Bàrbara i Amposta. Per ara, més d'una vuitantena de #bomberscat seguim treballant a la zona i des del centre de comandament coordinem el dispositiu pic.twitter.com/2kVfZ5Oz6u— Bombers (@bomberscat) September 3, 2023
“Due to the exceptional and abnormal situation, in which rainfall records will be broken, I ask the people of Madrid to stay at home today,” José Luis Martínez-Almeida, the Mayor of Madrid, wrote on X, the social media site formerly Twitter.
Parks, tunnels and municipal buildings and installations were all closed in Madrid.
Despite the warnings and dark clouds gathering over Madrid during much of Sunday, many people were outside as if it was a normal Sunday.
“I think (the red alert) is sensible and the best thing is to stay inside and not go out for once,” Begoña Gutierrez, a 46-year-old marketing analyst, 46, who lives in Madrid, told i.
Madrid’s emergency services sent 112 texts to residents warning them of flood risks and advising them not to use vehicles unless they were strictly necessary.
In Alcanar, Tarragona, on Spain’s northeastern coast, emergency services have also confined residents to their homes due to flooding after 215 litres per square metre of rain in the past 24 hours overnight on Sunday.
Cars were swamped on the AP-7 motorway, which runs all down the Mediterranean coast of Spain, and main roads in northeastern Spain, the Catalan fire service said.
In Benidorm and other towns in the Alicante area, firefighters were called out to help after trees fell over, streets were flooded and areas suffered power cuts.
Flights from Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca suffered delays and some will not leave until Monday because of the gales.
Renfe, the state-operated train operator, said it would allow travellers to change tickets or cancel them because of the bad weather.
The pouring rain and high winds come after a dry summer in which Spain has struggled through four heat waves in which temperatures have soared to the early 40s Celsius.
AEMET issued the red alerts because of a DANA, a phenomenon which usually hits the Mediterranean side of the Iberian Peninsula, and which is a depression at high levels.
The air undergoes a drastic change in the levels of atmospheric pressure, and this often causes torrential rains.
- ^ as Spain was lashed (inews.co.uk)
- ^ homes in Madrid (inews.co.uk)
- ^ Forecasters said up (eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com)
- ^ #RETerresEbre (twitter.com)
- ^ #bomberscat (twitter.com)
- ^ pic.twitter.com/2kVfZ5Oz6u (t.co)
- ^ September 3, 2023 (twitter.com)
- ^ Atletico Madrid and Sevilla (en.atleticodemadrid.com)