March 30. 2023. 2:51

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Storm Barra: Severe flooding kills one in northern Spain

Flooding near the Arga river in the neighbourhood of La Magdalena, in Pamplona, northern Spain. Photograph: Alvaro Barrientos/AP Photo

Severe flooding in Spain’s Navarre region submerged cars and houses and killed at least one person on Friday as heavy rains from Storm Barra caused rivers to burst their banks.

Police said one person in the small village of Sunbilla died on Friday afternoon after a landslide caved in the roof of an outbuilding at their farmhouse.

In the regional capital of Pamplona people kayaked down a street, gliding past a bank as rescue workers waded into the waist-deep waters with pumps.

Firefighters use a dinghy to inspect the flooded streets in Pamplona. Photograph: Villar Lopez/EPA

In the centre of Villava, a small town just outside the city, houses were submerged up to their roofs.

The regional government declared a level 2 flood emergency and said similar conditions were likely on Saturday, with the focus of the flooding heading south toward the town of Peralta.

“The problem isn’t so much in the amount of precipitation but the level of the rivers,” regional interior secretary Amparo Lopez told reporters.

After a cold snap sent temperatures plunging across Spain, Storm Barra has brought torrential rains and thawed snow and ice at higher altitudes, causing rivers to rise rapidly. – Reuters

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