By Andrew Atkinson
THE Gota Fria storms that devastated Spain is the biggest in a century, as floods, hails, thunderstorms, and tornadoes continued into Thursday night.
As the Red weather alert was put across the Costa Blanca and Alicante areas news came in that two people had been killed in Valencia in the floods.
Related: Gota Fria claims first two deaths
Spain was hit with a Gota Fria that caused similar widespread destruction in 1917.
Flooding was caused as the Clariano RIver in Ontinyent municipality, Vall d’Albaida, overflowed in the Valencia province.
The river burst its banks, with 40 people rescued – and 150 were evacuated from their homes.
AEMET, reported 71.8 mm (21.8 inches) of rain fell in Pego in Alicante province; 64.2 mm (2.5 inches) in Fontanars dels Alforins; 54.7 mm (2.1 inches) in Ibiza airport, and 33.4 mm (1.3 inches) in Murcia, with figures increasing, as nighttime drew in.
The severe rains caused mudslides, and flash floods, with gusts of 72 km/h (45 mph) causing damage.
A Tornado-twister hit Guardamar del Segura, Alicante, as reported by the Leader, during Thursday’s updates, damaging the Municipal sports centre, along with felling trees, traffic signs and roofs. Winds of 104 km/h (64 mph) were recorded.
Ontinyent, Valencia recorded 277.6 mm (10.93 inches) of rain – the highest figure since records began in 1917.
Orihuela are on a Level 1 Emergency situation in the wake of the devastating Gota Fria that is sweeping across the Vega Baja in Spain.
At 8pm on Thursday evening Orihuela continued to get battered by storms that have continued throughout the day.
Tens of thousands of euros damage has been caused – to both commercial and residential properties – in what is the biggest storm to hit the Costas in recent times.
Torrevieja City has been a no go area, along with a plethora of municipitalities in the region, including Los Montesinos, Guardamar and San Miguel.
In a unprecedented move residents in Orihuela have been advised to remain indoors.
The Municipal Operational Cooperation Center – CECOPAL – was raised to a ‘Level 1 Emergency’ situation late afternoon, as the Gota Fria continued to flood the areas.
The curfew that has been put in place came after a meeting on Thursday afternoon.
EMERGENCY LEVEL ONE: Orihuela’s CECOPAL agrees to the curfew.
Orihuela CECOPAL have told inhabitants not to go outdoors as the Gota Fria continued into Thursday night – with a dark blanket of clouds and lightning sweeps across the areas.
A complete ban on transport travel has also been put in place in many towns and emergency services remain on standby.
Reassurances have been given to the public that all of CECOPAL are attending major incidents.
Orihuela City Council, Policia Local and Emergency and Civil Protection will continue to liaise through the night as the storms continue.
The Costa Blanca and Costa Calida Leader have been updating the situation following the outset of the Gota Fria hitting overnight on Wednesday and into Thursday morning.
Vega Baja Hospital has closed, due to flooding, and will remain shut until Monday. In case of emergency Telephone 112.
Approximately 100 litres per square meter of rain fell in Torrevieja overnight with the authorities saying that they don’t rule out more.
At this time, council workers continue to work to clean up routes, supported by firefighters, local police and civil protection.
If you have an emergency call 112 and we will attend as soon as possible.
Roads Closed in Torrevieja
– Villa de Madrid.
– Avda París.
– Avda Cortes Valencianas.
– Rosa Mazon
– The tracks that surround Doña Inés.
– CV 943 de los Montesinos a la Marquesa.
As the Gota Fria gathered pace approaching midnight on Thursday flooding alerts were heightened, as Santa Pola was flooded from the sea.
Flights to Alicante-Elche airport were diverted to Valencia and Madrid after being caught up in the storms as heavy thunderstorms and lightning hit.
Torrential storms and strong winds at El Altet led to additional diversions, with flights also delayed.
Army Called Out
Late on Thursday evening, as the fierce storms continued to better the Vega Baja, the Army UME Military unit was called in by Orihuela City Council.
The call for help from the Forces came – as floods escalated – with concerns the River Segura could potentially burst its banks.