Flash flooding in southeast Spain has left at least two people dead and caused widespread destruction in what some authorities have called the heaviest rainfall on record.
The regional emergency service said a 51-year-old woman and her 61-year-old brother were found dead inside an overturned car that floodwaters washed away in Caudete, about 60 miles (100km) south of Valencia.
A spokesman for Valencia fire department said in a tweet that emergency crews also pulled three people from a river, including a 57-year-old man and his 33-year-old son.
The Spanish weather service AEMET has said the region is “at extreme risk” of further torrential downpours with the storm set to pass over Valencia, Alicante and Murcia over the next 24 hours.
One of the first places to be hit was Ontinyent, a town south of Valencia, where the River Clariano flooded the streets Wednesday night washing away cars and damaging buildings and bridges.
Mayor Jorge Rodríguez said the town had endured its heaviest rainfall on record, with more than 400mm by Thursday afternoon.
The town is expected to ask the national government to declare a catastrophe in the area, which would entitle local people to emergency aid and long-term financial help to rebuild.
Across the region, emergency services received hundreds of calls for help leading to the Military Emergencies Unit being deployed.
In Murcia, where classes were cancelled for more than 300,000 pupils, residents were advised to take “maximum precaution”.
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