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Torrential rains claim one life in Catalonia

Four more people remain missing after being swept away by floodwaters; the storm has caused power cuts and travel disruption in the northeastern region

A pedestrian bridge damaged by the storm in Cambrils (Tarragona). FOTO: JOSEP LLUÍS SELLART

Heavy rains in Catalonia have claimed a victim after a man in his seventies was swept away by floodwaters when he tried to move his vehicle in Arenys de Munt, in Barcelona province. The body was discovered early on Wednesday at the beach in Caldes d’Estrac, in Barcelona province.

The emergency services are currently searching for four more people reported missing: a mother and her son in Vilaverd (Conca de Barberà), whose prefabricated bungalow was swept away by floodwaters, and two more people in l’Espluga de Francolí (Tarragona). In the latter municipality, two bridges were swept away after the River Francolí burst its banks, as well as the Rendé Masdeu winery and a restaurant, both of which were located on the banks of the waterway. A young girl sustained minor injuries in the Barcelona municipality of Gualba as a result of the extreme weather conditions.

The town of Arbeca (Lleida) has been badly hit by the torrential rains.
The town of Arbeca (Lleida) has been badly hit by the torrential rains. EFE

There have been travel disruptions as a result of the bad weather in northeastern Spain, with train services suspended between the Barcelona municipality of L’Hospitalet and Salou in Tarragona, affecting the R16 line and long-distance services, among others.

Wednesday also saw disruption to the Barcelona Metro system, with the green line not making stops at the Paral·lel station on its way to Zona Universitaria. The red line (L1) was suspended between Espanya and Glòries and the L9 between La Sagrera and Can Peixauet.

Flooding also caused a series of roads to be closed, with 43 separate incidents across the Catalonia region.

The town of Montblanc has also been significantly affected by the storm.
The town of Montblanc has also been significantly affected by the storm. EFE

Around 20,000 people were left without electricity today in Catalonia, 5,000 of them in Cambrils, Tarragona, according to the Civil Protection service, which received around 2,700 emergency calls this morning. Regional premier Quim Torra has announced that he will visit the affected areas on Wednesday.

Tarragona province was one of the worst affected by the heavy rains, with a red weather alert raised by the AEMET national meteorology agency. The rainfall reached an intensity of up to 200 mm during the night, causing flooding and damage.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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