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Storm toll mounts in southern Spain

Residents of southern Spain are trying to clean up after torrential rains broke a drought and killed at least eight people. A storm front also toppled a ferris wheel, injuring 35 fun fair workers.

A view of a wrecked Ferris-Wheel after it was severly damaged by strong winds. EPA/RUBEN FRANCES [

Spanien Überflutung

Friday's deluge left homes and roads in Spain's southern regions of Murcia and Andalusia suberged in thick, brown floodwaters that also swept away numerous cars.

The body of a female motorist was found on Saturday morning, raising the death toll to eight. Two more people are still missing.

Ferris wheel toppled

Meanwhile, a tornado swept through a fair ground in the town of Gandia south of Valencia on Friday evening, toppling a ferris wheel.

Its fall injured 35 people, mainly workers running stands at the fair, a local town council spokesperson said. Fifteen of them were seriously hurt.

Local media said the fair ground had been closed to the public when the storm struck.

Roads closed

Officials in Andalucia's Malaga region said 800 staff were involved in a clean up operation.

Two major highways in the area remain closed. Hundreds of soldiers had used boats to evacuate at least 600 residents from settlements cut off by the floodwaters.

Spain's AEMET weather agency said up to 245 liters (65 gallons) of rain per square meter (11 square feet) fell within a few hours on Friday morning.

A light aircraft sprays water with an extinguishing agent over a forest fire alongside a motorway at Calahonda, Malaga. Photo: EPA/JORGE ZAPATA

Just weeks ago Spain was fighting wildfires

The downpour broke a drought which in early September had resulted in the worst wildfires in living memory in Malaga, a coastal region popular with tourists.

Northern Morocco also drenched

Across the Mediterranean, unseasonal rains have also been blamed for the deaths of two women and a boy in flash flooding in Morocco's northern region of Safi, which lies about 600 kilometers (372 miles) from Malaga.

Moroccan authorities say more than 50 millimeters (two inches) of rain have fallen since Thursday. That is a fifth of the normally dry region's annual precipitation.

ipj/jlw (dpa, AFP, Reuters, dapd)

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