The Mallorca flash floods in which 233mm of rain fell in just two hours has been described as a “once in a thousand years” event by Spanish Weather agency AEMET.
Nine people are known to have lost their lives as the normally dry Ses Planes torrent burst its banks and swept a wave of destruction through the unsuspecting neighbourhoods it traversed.
It is one of the most serious floods to hit Spain in the past 25 years. Three deaths occurred in S’Illot, one in Artà and four took place in Sant Lorenç des Cardassar, a neighborhood 60 kilometers from the island capital Palma de Mallorca.
The death toll included a British couple who were trapped in a taxi when the affect of the deluge hit.
Spanish weather agency Aemet have now lowered the weather warning in Mallorca from Orange to Yellow alert, however Ibiza and Formentera are now at Orange alert with a 40-70% chance of torrential rain hitting the Islands before dark on Wednesday. According to the agency’s predictions, if we do not get the storms and heavy rainfall by dusk on Wednesday, the risk will have passed as the islands return to Green ‘no risk’ status thereafter.
President Declares Disaster Zone
Spanish President Pedro Sanchez visited the region affected this afternoon, assuring the local population that the Government will give the required financial resources to help them regain their day to day lives as quickly as possible.
Pedro Sánchez arrived at Son Sant Joan at about 1:45 p.m. and went quickly to Sant Llorenç to visit the affected area and support the people who have suffered in the catastrophe. He was met by Balearic president Francina Armengol.
Reported in the Diario de Ibiza, Sánchez offered “all his support and affection to the families of the mortal victims and thanked the work of the State Security Forces, Firemen and Local Police for the work they are doing. Sánchez has also indicated the great climate of collaboration between the State and the Government to face this flood drama.”
Ibiza Consell and individual municipalities have shown solidarity with the victims and family members of the floods in Mallorca with a minute of silence at 12 o’clock at the door of their respective headquarters.
Speaking at the Consell Headquarters in Ibiza Town, President Torres expressed the “consternation with which the tragic news that continues to come from Mallorca is being followed from Ibiza and has offered all the support that may be needed in the care of those affected.”
Mallorca Flash Floods
El Pais reported that “The heavy rainfall flooded the Ses Planes torrent, which is typically dry, with water gushing through the historical center, dragging cars, flooding houses and leaving hundreds of residents trapped in their homes. Many waited to be rescued on balconies and the rooftops of their houses. Three people were injured and another 200 people were forced to flee their homes.”
The first person found dead was an elderly man with reduced mobility who was trapped in the basement of his house.
Military & Civil Response
The Military Emergency Unit (UME) has moved one hundred troops, eight vehicles, a boat, three helicopters and three tracking dogs to join the relief efforts in Mallorca.
They Have joined local civil and volunteer groups in the search for victims and also to start the huge undertaking of re-opening roads and clearing the damage and destruction spread across wide areas of Sant Llorenç and Son Carrió.
Stories of individual peril and lucky escapes have been emerging all day, including one man who swam from his car to safety when it was engulfed by the wave of water.
The local government suspended classes in schools and set up emergency care centres at sports centres and public buildings. Some hotels in the area opened their doors to people dispossessed by the floods.
- Photos: Diario de Ibiza, Consell de Ibiza,