Extreme weather wreaks havoc from Spain to Morocco

Sunday, September 30, 2012
By Paul Martin

September 29, 2012

Villanueva Del Trabuco, Spain – Six people, including a young girl and an elderly woman, died Friday in floods that overturned cars and forced hundreds from their homes in southern Spain, officials said. At least 600 people had to be evacuated from their homes in the Andalusia province, regional officials said. Early Friday, an octogenarian woman died when a river broke its banks and floodwater swept past her home in Alora, north of Malaga, a regional government spokesman told AFP. According to provincial officials, two others died later in the same Andalusia region, while another three perished in the neighboring region of Murcia, including a 10-year-old girl. In the village of Villanueva del Trabuco, roads were covered in brown floodwater and teams were working to unearth cars while locals swept the muddy pavements. “In Malaga province, there are 800 staff working to return things to normal as quickly as possible. The rains are decreasing and seem to be shifting towards Granada and Almeria” further east, Limon said. The state weather agency AEMET said up to 245 liters (65 gallons) of water per square meter (11 square feet) had fallen in the area in the morning alone. Airports authority AENA said a flight was diverted to Seville as it headed to Malaga, which lies east of the resort city of Marbella on the Costa del Sol, a popular tourist haven. At least two major highways were closed, authorities said. In the neighboring southeastern region of Murcia, a highway bridge collapsed in the heavy rains, national television TVE reported. –TD

Flooding kills 3 in Morocco: Two women and a teenage boy have died in flooding that has plagued Morocco over the past two days, authorities said on Saturday. A 50-year-old woman, her daughter-in-law and the 14-year-old boy were swept away by flash flooding on Friday in the western region of Safi. The younger woman was rescued, but later died in hospital in the Atlantic coastal city of Safi, southwest of Rabat. The North African kingdom has been inundated by unseasonal rains and hit by heavy winds since Thursday. In Agadir, south of Safi, authorities said more than 50 millimeters (about two inches) of rain have fallen since then, a fifth of normal annual precipitation. And the highway linking Safi with Essaouira, further south, was closed to traffic because of the storms. -TD

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