Spanish PM visited regions, affected by floods

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Saturday visited the country's flood-stricken southeastern regions, where five people have died and 3,500 forced to flee their homes, news wires reported. Acting Interior Minister Fernando Grande Marlaska called the floods “a serious tragedy”.

Since Wednesday, regions of Valencia, Murcia and eastern Andalusia suffered some of the heaviest daily rainfall on record, which caused chaos on the roads, cutting public transport and prompting rivers to burst their banks. Flash floods swept away cars and swamped homes. Five people died in separate accidents as they tried to cross flooded roads in cars, including a man whose vehicle got stuck in a tunnel on Friday in the centre of the coastal city of Almeria.

After observing the damage from a helicopter flying over the city of Orihuela in the region of Valencia, Sanchez visited a command centre for emergency operations, his office said.

The airport in Murcia, which was closed on Friday due to the flooding, re-opened on Saturday, although two flights that were due to land on the holiday island of Ibiza were diverted to another Spanish airport and another two flights were cancelled due to the bad weather, Spanish airports operator AENA said. Rail services across southeastern Spain remained disrupted on Saturday, with several routes in Valencia and Murcia suspended, state-owned train operator said in a statement.

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