Majorca flash floods

Five people have been confirmed dead and five more are missing after torrential rains turned roads into rivers and swept cars away around Sant LLorenc des Cardassar
Two of the five people confirmed as dead in the Majorca floods are believed to be British.

They have been described as a couple who were caught in a flash flood in the town of Sant LLorenc des Cardassar as they were travelling in a taxi.

The taxi driver is also said to be missing. It was not immediately clear if they were tourists or expats.

Locals sought refuge on their roofs as a torrent of water invaded the ground floor of their homes, sweeping cars out to sea.

The first two victims were aged 71 and 83. One was trapped by a torrent of water that flooded the basement of his home and another was found by a road linking the town of Arta to the coastal resort of Canyamel.

An emergency services coordinator tweeted just after midnight: 'It has been confirmed that a third person has died' before adding around 6am: 'Rescuer teams have informed us of a fourth fatality in the floods on the east of Majorca.

'She's a woman who was trapped in her home in Sant Llorenc.'

Local authorities confirmed at breakfast-time on Wednesday that another person had died, although no more details were immediately released.

The number of people missing in the floods was up to 15 at one point overnight, although local authorities later clarified that it was down to five.

Rosario Sanchez Grau, central government representative for the Balearic Islands, said: 'These are difficult moments. My condolences and solidarity for all those affected, especially the families and friends of those who have died.'

Catalina Cladera, in charge of public administration for the regional government, described the situation as 'dantesque' and added: 'We weren't expecting it.

'The alert went from yellow to orange in a very short space of time.

'A massive amount of rain has fallen in very little time.'

A military emergency response unit has been sent from its base in Valencia on the mainland to help with the crisis caused by the flooding.

Around 100 people have spent the night at a council-run sports centre in the city of Manacor near Sant Llorenc.

Locals said the town remained virtually cut-off Wednesday morning and could only be reached by foot. Schools in the areas suspended classes because of power cuts.

Heavy rain also brought chaos to other parts of Spain including Barcelona, where parts of the tube service were temporarily suspended, and Costa del Sol holiday resorts.

The Costa del Sol remained on red alert this morning/yesterday morning (WED) following overnight storms and torrential rain overnight in resorts like Marbella, which came after a day of heavy downpours.