A SECOND person has died during flooding across northern Spain as rivers burst their banks in the wake of Storm Barra.

As floodwaters receded on Sunday, the body of a man was discovered in a van that had been swept away when the Bidasoa river burst its banks in Navarra region.

The 61-year-old man had been reported missing on Friday after he failed to turn up to his work at a factory. His van was spotted submerged in the river outside Elizondo on Saturday but rescuers were unable to reach it until waters receded somewhat on Sunday morning.

On Friday a woman, 49, had died as her car was buried in a landslide caused by torrential rains in the Navarra village of Sunbilla.

Storm Barra hit northern Spain last week bringing torrential rains which added to waterlogged regions already affected by snow melt, following a period of unseasonable warmth after an initial cold snap.

This caused rivers to rise rapidly and burst their banks.

Navarra’s regional president Maria Chivite, said the region needed to improve its flood readiness.

“Navarra will continue to live with floods and we need to be prepared so that when flooding happens, it has the least impact possible,” she told reporters after visiting the worst affected areas on Sunday.

The floods have been described as the worst to hit the region in more than five decades and saw people taking to kayaks to navigate through the regional capital Pamplona.

Meanwhile emergency teams were able to rescue two people trapped in cars swept away by floodwater. Guardia Civil officers saved a 39-year old man trapped in his vehicle in the town of Milagro after the river Aragon burst its banks while in the nearby town of Mendavia, a 70-year-old man was saved after being found in his minivan.

In the neighbouring region of La Rioja, a Guardia Civil team saved two dogs who were trapped in a flooded zone.


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