Freak storm kill 4 in Spain’s Mediterranean coast

OVIEDO, Spain

A violent storm that continues to batter Spain’s Mediterranean coast has killed four people and caused massive flooding. 

Early Friday morning, police say a man drowned after being trapped in his car as a tunnel flooded in Almeria.

Later Friday, another man was discovered dead in his car, which was found submerged in mud and water.

This brings up the number of victims to four, after a brother and sister also died in their vehicles on Thursday.

Police also report that emergency workers have rescued dozens more.

The storm has caused the cancellation of classes for more than 300,000 students between Thursday and Friday.

Airports in Almeria and Murcia have also been closed.

The region of Valencia remains under red alert for torrential rains, which have left a wake of destruction in more southern areas of Spain, where the storm is slowly letting up.

Up to 90mm of rainfall per hour, strong winds and powerful thunderstorms are expected throughout Friday evening in Valencia. Other regions are still under orange and yellow alerts.

In the regions most affected by the storm so far, heavy rainfall has caused rivers to overflow and flash flooding.

Roads have turned into torrents and near entire towns are now soaking in muddy water.

The storm system’s slow-moving nature is making it one of Spain’s deadliest and most destructive deluges in years.

Ontinyent, a town in southern Valencia, registered nearly 300 liters of water per square meter within the first 24 hours of the storm, the heaviest rainfall the area has seen since records began in 1917.

Local media reports that number has now reached 410 liters, which has caused the local river to blow its banks.

The town remains under red alert for heavy rains and its mayor has said he will ask the national government to declare a catastrophe.

The leader of Valencia, Ximo Puig, visited the town on Friday, saying the economic consequences of the storm are going to be “very tough”.
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