British woman among Spanish flood victims - report

A BRITISH woman has been reported missing in severe flooding that has claimed nine lives in southern Spain.

Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes after torrential rain led to flash flooding in the Andalucian provinces of Malaga, Almeria and Murcia.

The 52-year-old woman, who has yet to be named, was reported missing in Almeria, a spokeswoman for the regional government of Andalucia said.

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The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it was looking into the incident as “a matter of urgency”. Local news outlets reported that the woman worked at the Hotel Vera Beach, which has been closed due to flooding.

Heavy downpours resulting in high waters have killed five people in the province of Murcia, three in Almeria and one in Malaga.

Expatriate Jackie Broad, 58, said her home in Mojacar, Almeria, was too high up to be flooded, but she had witnessed cars being washed away by raging torrents of water.

She added: “The river at the bottom of our road has burst its banks. There was a lot of water – in some places, up to the roofs of shops and houses.”

Those who have died include two children who were found drowned in a car in Murcia, Spanish national radio reported.

The heavy rain started on Friday morning throughout Spain and follows months of drought and soaring summer temperatures, which helped trigger thousands of wildfires.

In an unrelated incident, a search for a British woman who is believed to have fallen overboard from a cruise ship in the Mediterranean yesterday was called off after a body was recovered. The passenger, who has not been named, was reported missing on the Aurora as it sailed from the Spanish city of La Coruna to Barcelona, P&O Cruises said.

Pat Rodgers, 70, from Sheffield, said the missing woman was believed to be in her 70s. Rodgers said the water had been “very choppy” and people on board were “sad and subdued” as the search operation took place.