BRITISH COUPLE KILLED IN MARKET TORRENT
Mark Nolan / 2011-10-21 20:04:51
A British couple have been killed and 6 others injured, when heavy rains swept through a market and washed them away in Finestrat, near Benidorm.
The force of the collected rainwater, which has been falling for most of the night on Thursday and especially hard on the morning of Friday, caused a "flood" to overflow the nearby ravine of La Cala, making its way along the market pathway towards the beach, sweeping away market stalls, vehicles and the tragic victims.
Weather experts have now measured that the tragedy occurred after 7.2 litres of rain per square metre fell during a period of 25 minutes, in addition to the downpour that the town was experiencing. The State Meteorological Agency is required to give notice whenever emergencies predict more than 40 litres per square meter, although a warning is normally issued when forecasters expect more than 30 litres, the characteristics of this downpour did not meet the emergency warning criteria. Nor is it believed that experts could have predicted the catastrophe that occurred.
Market traders had allegedly raised concerns in the past about the location of the market, and warning signs were posted about the problems that rain may cause.
Debris and damage was left scattered along the pathway and down onto the beach. Rain is expected to continue for some days, with many areas on alert.
The mayor of Finestrat, Honorato Algado, of the Partido Popular, stated that the municipal market is covered by insurance and that the town council will do everything they can in helping those affected.
The couple were later named as Kenneth (72) and Mary Hall (70) who were on Holiday in Benidorm.