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Majorca flash flood kills at least six on Spanish island

October 10th, 2018 | Tags:
Residents of Sant Llorenç began clearing mud and water from their homes on Wednesday. Photo: EPA
People shelter at a sports centre in the town of Manacor following heavy rains. Photo: EPA
People shelter at a sports centre in the town of Manacor following heavy rains. Photo: EPA
BBC News

At least six people have died and nine are feared missing in flash flooding on the Spanish island of Majorca.

A huge wave of muddy water engulfed the town of Sant Llorenç des Cardassar, in the east of the island, after a river burst its banks following heavy rain.

Vehicles were swept away, some with their headlights switched on, as water gushed through narrow streets.

The Spanish military is deploying more than a hundred emergency workers with sniffer dogs.

Three helicopters and a Hercules military transport plane are also being sent from the mainland Spanish city of Valencia to help with search and rescue efforts.

Among the fatalities in Sant Llorenç des Cardassar are a British couple who were swept away while travelling in a taxi, Spanish newspaper El Pais reports (in Spanish). The driver remains missing, the newspaper adds.

Foreign Office

The UK's Foreign Office said it was "urgently seeking updates" from Spanish authorities following news of the devastating floods.

Two more local people were killed in the town, along with two further victims, who died in the coastal town of S'illot.

The area was hit with more than eight inches of rainfall in just a few hours on Tuesday, according to Spanish meteorological agency Aemet.

A refuge was set up at the Miguel Ángel Nadal sports centre in the town of Manacor to provide shelter for displaced residents.

Local authorities called an emergency meeting to co-ordinate the rescue efforts on Wednesday following the heavy rains.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez tweeted: "My solidarity and support goes out to the families and friends of victims and all those affected by these tragic floods."

Mr Sánchez will visit the areas affected by flooding later on Wednesday, a spokesperson for his office said.

The Spanish parliament held a minute's silence in a tribute to the victims.

In December 2016, southern Spain was hit with severe weather, resulting in widespread flooding and several deaths. Streets in towns near Malaga on the Costa del Sol experienced chest-high water levels.

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