At least ten people were killed in torrential rains and flash floods that hit the Spanish resort island of Mallorca overnight, emergency services said Wednesday.
Most of the victims were discovered in the town of Sant Llorenc and another in S’illot. Among the victims were two British citizens and a Dutch woman. Another who has yet to be identified is also believed to be a foreigner.
An additional six people were still missing following the storm, including a five-year-old boy.
“The situation is a disaster and we’re trying to locate survivors and help people, but everything is flooded and people cannot leave their homes,” said Antonia Bauza, a senior official at San Llorenc mayor’s office.
Madrid deployed military units to the Balearic Island to assist emergency workers as they searched for missing people and cleared the streets of debris.
A storm unlike any in living memory
Spain’s weather agency said up to 22 centimeters (8.7 inches) of rain fell within four hours, triggering flash floods on the island.
Local authorities said the storm was unlike any they could remember.
Footage posted online showed currents of water, mud and rubbish tearing trees and burying cars as they cut through the streets of Sant Llorenc, located some 60 kilometers (37 miles) east of the island’s capital, Palma de Mallorca.
Elsewhere, video footage showed cars turned upside down, damaged houses and trees across roads.
Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal, who lives in Mallorca, was seen helping residents clear mud from their houses in Sant Llorenc. Nadal announced on social media that he was opening up his tennis academy on the island to shelter those affected by the floods.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in a tweet that he was closely following developments on the ground.
“My solidarity and support goes out to the families and friends of victims and all those affected by these tragic floods,” said Sanchez.
Spanish lawmakers held a minute’s silence before opening the prime minister’s weekly question time.
Later on Wednesday, the Spanish prime minister traveled to the island to visit the disaster zones.
Responding to news that two Britons were among the dead, the British Foreign Office said in a statement: “We are supporting the family of two British people following their deaths in Spain, and will do all we can to assist them at this deeply difficult time.”
dm, ls,es/rc (Reuters, AP)