Floods in Spanish tourist hotspot cause chaos, as trapped driver hauled from car by rescue workers in helicopter

13 June 2024, 11:09

One driver had to be rescued from the floods by helicopter
One driver had to be rescued from the floods by helicopter. Picture: 112 Región de Murcia

By Kit Heren

A popular Spanish tourist region has been hit with major flooding, with emergency services rushing to rescue people trapped in their cars - and one driver having to be hauled out by a helicopter.

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The Costa Blanca area of south-eastern Spain and the city of Murcia endured torrential downpours earlier this week, causing roads to flood.

It comes after the island of Mallorca off the east coast of Spain was also hit with heavy rain that caused flooding and massive disruption in the main airport.

On the mainland, emergency services received hundreds of calls, with 200 on a single day on the Costa Blanca related to the storm alone, according to Spanish media.

Read more: Flights grounded at major Spanish tourist destination, as airport runway floods amid heavy storms

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In Murcia, there were 113 calls to emergency services, including many people who said they were trapped in their cars because of the floods.

The Costa Blanca, which includes the popular tourist destinations of Benidorm and Alicante, was hit with hail storms. Authorities issued a weather warning for Benidorm.

In the city of Murcia, people were seen wading through flooded streets and trying to take shelter.

Outside the city, images emerged of cars floating down roads, while emergency services worked hard to get people to safety and restore order. Roads were closed in several places.

Someone being rescued from their car during the flood
Someone being rescued from their car during the flood. Picture: 112 Region de Murcia

It comes after heavy rain caused major disruption Palma Airport on the island of Mallorca, about 180 miles off the coast.

The runway flooded and the heavy rain also affected the airport building itself, with water seen streaming through the roof of the duty-free area on Tuesday evening.

Some 9cm of rain fell in less than an hour at the heaviest point of the deluge, according to a weather station at the airport. Passengers said the airport was "chaos".

A lorry stuck in floodwater in Murcia
A lorry stuck in floodwater in Murcia. Picture: 112 Region de Murcia

Flights were re-routed to different destinations as the airport activated its emergency plan. Planes already in Palma were grounded.

The airport said it had resumed normal operations on Wednesday.

It comes as the UK endures an unseasonably cold start to the summer, after a warm spring.

Further east in Europe, a heatwave is hitting countries like Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. The eastern Mediterranean island recorded a high of 43C last week.

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