Ten people have been killed and a child is still missing as heavy rain and flash floods lashed the Mediterranean holiday island of Majorca, Spanish authorities confirmed Wednesday, 10 October.
The island was hit by devastating floods overnight, with torrential rainstorms hitting the town of Sant Llorenç des Cardassar, about 40 miles east of the capital Palma.
Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez told citizens gathered in Sant Llorenç that an emergency cabinet meeting will pass two reports (one from the ministry of interior and another from the ministry of public administrations) to declare a disaster zone for Majorca, reported local broadcaster IB3 Notícies.
Antonia Bauzá, the deputy mayor of Sant Llorenç, told Radio Mallorca that two of the victims were British nationals. They were travelling in a taxi when a river burst its banks.
The Spanish army has sent a fresh detachment from its emergency unit (UME) to bolster the rescue operations in the areas affected by the Levante (eastern) floods including 19 staff, a fire engine, a boat and four search and rescue dogs.
The new operation, sent from Barcelona, will merge with others that arrived in the area from Valencia and Madrid earlier in the day. In total there are already about 120 military personnel involved.
At this point more than 500 people are already collaborating in the complex tasks of victim search and reconstruction. Balearic Institute of Nature (Ibanat) sent 103 troops; Guardia Civil police, 53; National Police, 50; firemen of Mallorca, 30, and private companies, 28. Civil Protection, the Local Police, the emergency hotline 112, the Red Cross, emergency services SAMU 061 and the General Bureau of Emergencies have contributed the rest of the contingent.
UME staff are stationed in the city of Manacor, having summoned a hundred effectives, eight vehicles, a boat, three helicopters and three search and rescue dogs to join the auxiliary work. Miquel Nadal sports facility has been busy overnight with more than 150 people previously trapped and in some cases violently isolated by the terrible weather in the east of the island.
Manacor is also world tennis champion Rafael Nadal’s hometown. The star has been seen in rubber boots helping Sant Llorenç neigbours to clear the destruction since the very beginning.
“It’s a sad day in Mallorca, my sincere condolences to the families of the disappeared by the floods,” said Nadal, a resident of Porto Cristo, 7 miles (11km) from Sant Llorenç.
“As we did on Tuesday, we are again offering access to the facilities of the Rafael Nadal Academy to anyone who needs accommodation.”
IB3Notícies also reported via Twitter the death toll increased to 10, while all missing persons have been found except for a child.
Images posted on social media showed cars being swept along narrow streets by torrents of water.
Tourists reported hours of lightning strikes and torrential downpours.