Protección Civil Lifts Alcanar Lockdown Amid Flooding Concerns

Protección Civil lifts lockdown in Alcanar due to flooding

Restricting movement is advised in areas affected by heavy rain and along the coast.

A weather phenomenon known as a “cold drop” has caused serious problems in Catalonia, where Protección Civil requested the confinement of Alcanar, a municipality in the Montsià region of Tarragona, due to heavy rainfall and the risk of flooding from overflowing streams. However, this order was lifted after 2 p.m. due to improved weather conditions. Nevertheless, it is recommended to limit travel in areas affected by heavy rain and along the coast due to the expected high waves.

Over the past 24 hours, Alcanar in Tarragona received nearly 220 liters of rain per square meter, with most of it falling in just three hours. This heavy rain has led to various issues, including road closures, flooding of low-lying areas, and falling branches. Bombers de la Generalitat (Catalonia’s firefighting service) also reported structural damage to three buildings in the Montsià region, and they had to rescue two individuals in Alcanar last night after a farmhouse roof collapsed.

Since the rainstorm began in this area of Tarragona yesterday afternoon, firefighters have received about 150 incident reports in the Ebro Delta. As of this afternoon, around eighty firefighters are still working in most cases dealing with flooding in the municipalities of Alcanar, Santa Bàrbara, and Amposta, which have been the hardest hit by the heavy rain. Thankfully, no injuries have been reported. Up until 1 p.m., the emergency phone line 112 had received 330 calls related to 213 incidents linked to the rain and wind affecting the southernmost part of Catalonia.

Shortly before 10 a.m., Protección Civil sent an alert to all mobile phones in the area, urging residents to stay in their homes due to the accumulation of rain and stream overflow, such as the Llop stream near Alcanar Platja.

In an interview on RAC1 radio, the director of Protección Civil, Imma Soler, recommended that the people of Alcanar stay confined in their homes and move to higher floors if water enters their homes. In this regard, she stressed the importance of limiting mobility as much as possible.

The cold drop has resulted in very heavy rainfall in the Terres de l’Ebre region, with over 200 liters per square meter in Montsià, leading to the closure of roads like the AP-7 between Freginals and Ulldecona and the N-340 between Alcanar and Amposta. However, traffic on these two roads has now been restored. Nevertheless, the C-12 between Tortosa and Roquetes and in Amposta remains closed, as well as the TP-3311 between Galera and Godall and the TV-3443 in Amposta. Additionally, the weather conditions have forced the interruption of the railway line between Aldea and Ulldecona, making the Mediterranean corridor non-operational.

The torrential rains have mainly affected the Montsià and Baix Ebre regions. In the last 24 hours, 243 liters of rain per square meter were recorded in Mas de Barberans, 217 in Alcanar, 200 in Santa Bàrbara, and 159 liters in Ulldecona, according to data from Meteocat weather stations.

The forecast is that the rainstorm will lose intensity in the coming hours, although isolated episodes of heavy rainfall may still occur, especially in the southern regions of Catalonia. For now, the Inuncat and Ventcat plans remain activated due to the risk of flooding and strong winds in the central coastal and pre-coastal areas.

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