By Dana Ferguson
NEARLY a dozen people died over the weekend in the worst floods to sweep Andalucia in decades.
A British expat was among those killed, as flash floods registering up to 245 litres per metre square wreaked havoc around the region.
Diana Dudas, 52, was found in a lagoon near her home in Vera, in Almeria.
She had been swept away as flood waters rose up by two to three metres near her house on Friday morning.
It is believed she had died as she made her way to work at a hairdressing salon in nearby Vera town.
Her car had been swept into her front garden and her house badly damaged.
Close friend and neighbour Genny Sutcliffe, 56, described Dudas – who had a Spanish husband, Javier – as a ‘lovely, warm and caring person’.
“She was absolutely lovely, very warm, very caring and with a great sense of humour,” said Sutcliffe. “We are absolutely devastated.”
Three other victims died in the Almeria area, including a Spanish couple and a man who died despite being evacuated in a helicopter.
Some 245 litres per metre square hit the city and region over 12 hours, shutting down highways, hospitals and displacing over 300 people.
In Malaga meanwhile, the flooding killed a 80-year-old man near Archidona and a woman, 85, near Alora.
Both their cars were swept away by rising floodwaters.
In Villanueva del Rosario, near Antequera, flood waters rose to an incredible four metres above their normal level.
Mayor Jose Antonio Gonzalez said: “There are houses that you can’t even see. The town is a swamp.”
Junta boss Jose Antonio Grinan visited affected regions over the weekend and said recovery efforts were progressing in the wake of the disaster.
In other parts of the country a Spaniard and a German woman have been reported missing and a 38-year-old man remains in intensive care in a hospital in Valencia.
According to reports he was thrown into the air by a tornado.
In Murcia, five died, while the main A-7 motorway was shut when a viaduct collapsed between Lorca and Puerto Lumbreras.
The dead include a man and a woman who were trapped in their cars, while a nine-year-old girl was discovered beside a busy road alongside her grandfather.
Meanwhile many crops have been destroyed and thousands of animals have drowned in the floods, principally pigs and some horses.
The heavy rain started Thursday morning throughout Spain and follows months of drought and soaring summer temperatures, which triggered numerous wildfires.
Spain’s president Mariano Rajoy announced the government is to ask the European Union for aid to help affected zones.