Third person dies, two airports closed as torrential rains hit southern Spain

People are seen next to a partially submerged car as torrential rains hit Orihuela, Spain, September 13, 2019. REUTERS/Jon Nazca

SAN PEDRO DEL PINATAR/ORIHUELA, Spain (Reuters) – A third person has died in a second day of torrential rains in southern Spain where two airports, local train networks and dozens of roads were closed on Friday.

Heavy rainfall in the regions of Valencia and Murcia swept away cars and debris and forced the evacuation of hundreds of people, including from flooded highways.

Almeria and Murcia’s airport were closed, Spanish airport operator Aena said, and tourists were also left stranded in Alicante airport.

“We’ve been in the queue here four or five hours, it’s very difficult to get to the toilet, impossible to get anything to eat,” Haydn Harding, a 78-year old diabetic tourist from Northern Ireland, said at Alicante’s airport.

The man who died in the Andalucian city of Almeria on Friday had tried to go through a tunnel by car, rescue services said. Two siblings had died on Thursday when torrential rain dragged their car

Although the weather seemed to be stabilizing, several of the southeastern regions remain on red alert and rivers like Segura, which already flooded the town of Orihuela in Alicante, were still at risk of overflowing in the city Murcia, the local water management authority said.

Authorities recommend citizens stay at home in the affected areas and avoid using their cars.

Additional reporting by Paola Luelmo, Emma Pinedo and Jesus Aguado; Writing by Jose Elias Rodriguez and Ingrid Melander; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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