In Depth

Spain flooding: UK Foreign Office issues travel warning

‘Extreme risk’ alert as two people die in storm sweeping across Valencia, Alicante, Murcia and Almeria

The Foreign Office has issued a travel warning to any Britons planning a late summer holiday to eastern Spain after record rainfall brought severe flooding to popular destinations including Alicante and Valencia.

Heavy rain, flooding and even tornados have battered the Balearic islands and Spain’s northeastern coast, with the areas around Valencia and Alicante most affected.

In Ontinyent, south of Valencia, “almost 300mm fell in 24 hours, the heaviest rainfall recorded there since 1917”, says The Guardian.

“We had 300 millimetres of rain. We haven’t seen that for a century,” Jorge Rodriguez, mayor of Ontinyent, told Spanish public broadcaster TVE.

The flooding has caused significant destruction and left at least two people dead. A 51-year-old woman and her 61-year-old brother were found dead inside an overturned car washed away by floodwater in Caudete, about 60 miles south of Valencia.

The extreme weather has prompted the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to issue a severe weather warning for the regions of Valencia, Alicante, Murcia and Almeria for 12 and 13 September owing to “forecasted torrential rain”.

It warns travellers that “flash floods may occur and could cause disruption and delays to transport services”, and advises any Brits who find themselves in the affected regions to follow the advice of local authorities.

The FCO has also pointed to a statement from Spain’s meteorological agency (AEMET), which this week issued an “extreme risk” weather warning after forecasts showed that the storm is expected to bring a further deluge on Friday.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez praised emergency services for their work in mitigating the effects of the flood. “Our thanks for their work and all our solidarity with the thousands of people affected by torrential rains,” he tweeted.

The flooding is the latest in a series of extreme weather events to hit Spain this year. In June, a heatwave broke national records, with some cities reaching temperatures of 43.3C.

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