Storm causes flash floods in southern Spain amid drought

Meteorological agency says long way to go before drought ends despite deluge

Alyssa Mcmurtry  | 23.05.2023 - Update : 23.05.2023
Storm causes flash floods in southern Spain amid drought File photo


Intense rainfall caused flash floods Tuesday in several areas in southeastern Spain.

The much-needed rain came faster than many parts of Murica, Almeria and Alicante could handle. Rivers blew their banks, while flash floods cut off roads, entered homes and seriously damaged crops.

Education in Alicante and Murcia was disrupted as more than 40 municipalities cancelled classes.

Tuesday’s deluge is compounded by heavy rains Monday in the area.

Almeria saw its single rainiest day on record Monday, according to Spain’s meteorological agency, Aemet, on Tuesday. In the entire month of May, Almeria usually sees just 12 liters (3 gallons) of rain, but Monday alone, the airport station detected 56 liters.

Amid the storm Tuesday, two spectacular waterspouts -- a type of tornado -- were detected off the coast of Malaga.

Despite relief that the rain brings to the drought-ridden area, Aemet cautioned that it is short of alleviating drought conditions. "We are still far from calling an end to the drought," it tweeted.

Up until May 21, this spring had been Spain’s driest on record. April was also the driest and hottest since record-keeping began.

Spain’s Environment Ministry said Tuesday that reservoir levels had even decreased nationally in the last week to 47.7% of capacity -- 21 percentage points below the 10-year average for this time of year.

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