Eight dead, several missing in Spain's Majorca flash floods

AFP Spain Oct 10, 2018, 04.29 PM(IST)

Flash floods in Majorca Photograph:( Reuters )

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Footage broadcast on Spanish television showed cars being swept away by raging waters and houses flooded after the Mediterranean island was pounded with heavy rain in just a few hours.

At least eight people have died, including two British nationals, and several others are missing in flash floods on the Spanish holiday island of Majorca, authorities and emergency services said Wednesday.

Footage broadcast on Spanish television showed cars being swept away by raging waters and houses flooded after the Mediterranean island was pounded with heavy rain in just a few hours.

One witness told a local newspaper he had to swim out of his car through a window to safety.

"I swam 500 metres (1,650 feet) through the torrent until I got to a house," Manuel Torrescusa, told the Diario de Mallorca.

"I hardly had any clothes on me as they all got caught on a metal fence when I was swimming."

On Twitter, emergency services in the Balearic Islands said eight people had died in the villages of Sant Llorenc des Cardassar, S'Illot and Arta.

A spokesman for the Spanish central government's office in the archipelago said other people were missing.

Antonia Bauza, deputy mayor of Sant Llorenc des Cardassar, told Spanish radio that two British nationals were among the dead.

She added there were also Britons among the missing.

Neither the emergency services, police nor the British foreign office were able to confirm this when contacted by AFP.

Ibiza, Formentera on alert

Spain's meteorological office said the neighbouring islands of Ibiza and Formentera were now on high alert as the rain and storms moved there.

In Majorca, the worst affected area lies 60 kilometres (37 miles) east of the capital Palma de Majorca. 

Rescue workers searched overnight for missing people.

Around 100 extra emergency workers were dispatched from the Spanish mainland, along with two helicopters, eight vehicles and search dogs, the country's emergency military unit said.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez tweeted his "solidarity and support for the relatives and friends of the victims, and for all those affected by this tragic flooding."

Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal, who is from the affected area in Majorca, said on Instagram he was offering to open up his sports centre and tennis academy to people displaced by the floods.

"Our most sincere condolences to the loved ones of the victims of the serious floods in San Llorenc," he wrote.

Many locals hit by the flooding spent the night in sports centres.

Maria Magdalena Ferrer, spokeswoman for the Manacor Hospital in the affected area, told AFP people "who were in the hospital yesterday and weren't able to go home" stayed the night.

She added five people had been admitted with injuries, none of them serious.