Flash Flood in Spain on October 10 2018 08:14 AM (UTC).
Flash floods caused by torrential rains killed at least 10 people on the Spanish island of Majorca and burst the banks of a river, washing away vehicles and engulfing a town in muddy water. Hundreds of emergency workers, with the help of helicopters and sniffer dogs, were searching throughout the day for other victims, and one child was still missing as of Wednesday evening. The flood hit Tuesday night and cut off the town of Sant Llorenç des Cardassar, which is home to about 8,000 people and is about 40 miles from Palma, the island's capital city. On Wednesday morning, an official from the region told Cadena Ser, a Spanish radio station, that the victims included a British couple who had been traveling in a taxi that was caught in the flash flood. The taxi driver is missing, according to the official, Catalina Cladera. One of the other victims was reported to be the former mayor of the municipality, Rafael Gili, 71. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez flew to Majorca on Wednesday to visit the disaster area, which has gained some measure of fame because it was used as the location for "Love Island," a British reality television program. "The important thing is to offer certainty that the government will use all the necessary resources to ensure those affected can return to their daily lives," Mr. Sanchez said during his visit to the island. The leader of Spain's main opposition conservative party, Pablo Casado, also flew to the island on Wednesday to offer his support and condolences. Five roads remained blocked on Wednesday afternoon as emergency services worked to clear debris around the disaster area. More rain was forecast for Majorca and the rest of the Balearic archipelago on Wednesday, as well as for other parts of Spain, and the southern coast of the mainland, around the province of Malaga, was put on a red alert by Spain's official weather agency because of the expected downpour. Majorca is one of Spain's main tourism destinations, to the point that this year Palma became the first city in Spain to introduce a ban on short-term apartment rentals through Airbnb and other home-sharing websites to help free up more accommodation for local residents. Palma was largely spared damage on Tuesday by the deluge, which was mostly focused on the northeastern part of the island. Although the area is less visited than other parts of Majorca, it has a strong rural tourism sector. Officials told local news media that three people had been injured and about 200 people had to evacuate their houses because of the flooding in Sant Llorenç des Cardassar that was caused by two hours of intense rain. Many residents spent the night in a nearby sports center.
Torrential rainstorms that caused flash flooding of water and mud on the Spanish island of Mallorca killed at least nine people, authorities said on Wednesday. A spokeswoman with the regional emergency service said two British nationals and a Dutch woman were among the victims, but she couldn't confirm whether six more people were still missing at midday as local media reported. The Britons and two local residents died in the town of Sant Llorenc des Cardassar, the town's deputy mayor, Antonia Bauza, told Cadena SER radio. Sant Llorenc, which is about 60 kilometers (40 miles) east of Mallorca's capital, Palma, is where a dry creek overflowed amid heavy downpours, creating a strong current of water and mud that buried cars and tore trees along the way, according to witness accounts. The Balearic Islands' emergency services spokeswoman, who wasn't authorized to be named in media reports, told The Associated Press that the body of a Dutch woman was recovered from the garage of a house in Arta, another nearby town. Other victims were found in Arta and the coastal town of S'illot, where the overflowed creek reaches the sea. Public broadcaster TVE showed footage of flooded streets and overturned cars along the guardrails of a major road. "It all happened in less than 10 minutes," an unidentified witness with wet clothes and a blanket over his shoulders told TVE. "We had to swim to try to survive." Authorities said 80 soldiers and seven vehicles from the military's emergency unit had joined Wednesday more than 100 rescuers who had been working in the area overnight. At least three towns closed schools and hundreds of people were sheltered in sport facilities and a local horse racing track, authorities said. The flooding also affected phone communications, destroyed two bridges and forced the closure of 11 roads. Some parts of the island received up to 23 centimeters (nine inches) of rainfall in around four hours on Tuesday evening, national weather authorities reported. The weather agency, AEMET, said more heavy rainfall is expected Wednesday in eastern and southern parts of the Iberian peninsula. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called news of the flooding "devastating " on Twitter: "My solidarity and support goes out to the families and friends of victims and all the affected by these tragic floods." Sanchez will be flying to the area later Wednesday, his office said.