Environment

At least 10 killed after massive flash floods hit Mallorca, 5 months’ worth of rain in 2 hours, Spain


More than 230 mm (9 inches) of rain fell on Mallorca, Spain’s Balearic Islands on October 9, 2018, causing one of the worst flash floods the island has seen in 25 years. At least 9 people have been killed and 6 others are still missing. The worst affected was the island’s northeastern part. Local media described the floods as biblical.

Average rainfall for the entire month of October in Mallorca is just 44.3 mm (1.7 inches). The annual rainfall varies across the island, from 350 mm (13.7 inches) in the south to 1 500 mm (59 inches) in the high areas on the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range. However, most of the island receives between 450 mm and 650 mm (17 – 25 inches) of precipitation over the year.​

The probability of 233 mm (9.17 inches) of rain falling in Colònia de Sant Pere [close to Sant Lorenç] in Mallorca, which was recorded on October 9, is one in a thousand years, Spain’s AEMET national weather service said in a preliminary report.

According to El Pais, heavy rainfall flooded the Ses Planes brook, which is typically dry, and sent raging floodwaters through the historical center, dragging cars, flooding houses, destroying infrastructure and leaving hundreds stranded.

At least 10 people have been killed, 6 are missing, 3 were injured and another 200 forced to flee their homes.


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At least three towns closed schools and hundreds of people were sheltered in sports facilities and a local hippodrome, authorities said. The flooding also affected phone communications and forced the closure of at least seven major roads.

The weather agency, AEMET, said more heavy rainfall is expected Wednesday in eastern and southern parts of the Iberian peninsula.

Featured image: Massive flash flooding in Mallorca, Spain on October 9, 2018. Credit: Miguel Puigros Baldowski / The Storm Europe





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