HAILSTONES the size of golf balls destroyed crops and flash floods trapped people in their homes throughout Spain’s Murcia province.
Emergency services were kept busy in several town of the southeastern province as the Argos rivers burst its banks last week.
Wheelie bins sailed down rapids created by the rainfall as firefighters fought to save trapped families.
One of the worst affected towns was Caravaca de la Cruz where water flooded the health centre and various homes.
Upto 41 litres of rainwater per square metre fell around the town in just one hour, the Spanish State Meteorological agency AEMET.
It said that during ten minutes 11.6 litres fell from the sky, quickly causing chaos in the area.
Farmers and fruit pickers in Caravaca witnessed hailstones the size of golfballs destroy their crops before their very eyes.
It was a similar situation in nearby Cehegin where emergency services had to rush to the rescue of a family trapped in a countryside house.
Water rose to a metre and a half in the cottage, forcing its residents to climb to the roof.
“Due to the virulence of the Argos River, the presence of the 112 helicopter was requested,” Cehegin Chief of Local Police Manuel Fernandez said.
“But in the end its presence has not been necessary, since firefighters have been able to access the house and help the people who were inside it,” he added.
Emergency services were kept busy unblocking drains in Caravaca, Cehegin and nearby Calasparra.
A lightning bolt started a forest fire in Jumilla but the storm’s own rain quickly put it out.
It is not the first time flooding has hit the area with similar problems recorded last May.
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