Helicoptor rescue evacuations as northern Spain floods

Spain floods

Image: Servicio de Emergencias del Principado de Asturias

Heavy rainfall of over 150 mm in 24 hours caused severe northern Spain floods, prompting evacuations and dramatic rescues by helicopter. Emergency services had to evacuate 40 patients from a hospital in Arriondas in the Parres municipality due to the flooding. As a precaution, around 600 students and teachers from 2 schools in Arriondas were also evacuated.

Emergency services in Asturias used a helicopter to rescue a family trapped in their home as it was surrounded by water on 24 November. Emergency boats rescued two more people from separate locations. 

Arriondas is located where the Piloña and Sella rivers converge. Both rivers were swollen after heavy rain hit the area overnight. According to figures from Spain’s State Meteorological Agency AEMET, in around a 24 hour period on 24 November, the village of Piloña recorded 87.2 mm of rain; Panizales 159.6 mm; Carreña 139.0 mm and Felechosa 94.4 mm.

Cantabria also saw heavy rain as authorities carried out 22 different operations to assist the public in one 24 hour period. Roads were flooded in Cabezón de la Sal, Cabezón de Liébana, Miengo and Molleda.

The severe rain began in southern and eastern Spain on 20 November. Cartagena saw around 30 buildings damaged and 23 people rescued from stranded vehicles after flash Spain floods. Local officials said around 100mm of rain fell in a few hours. 

The rain then moved north into Valencia and Catalonia regions. Civil Protection in Catalonia said that, as of early 24 November, emergency teams had responded to incidents in in the comarcas of Baix Ebre (112 incidents), Tarragonès (105) and Barcelonès (54). Some flooding was also reported in Montsià comarca. Videos shared on Social Media showed vehicles stranded in on flooded roads in Tortosa and Tarragona. Firefighters rescued 3 people from stranded vehicles in Baix Ebre.

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Written by

Claire Gordon