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Floods kill woman in south Spain: officials

  • A crane helps to remove cars carried away by flash floods after heavy rain in the town of Villanueva del Rosario, Malaga, southern Spain, Friday, Sept. 28, 2012. Homes were destroyed and at least one woman was killed. Rescue workers are searching to determine if there are more victims. (AP Photo/Sergio Torres)

VILLANUEVA DEL TRABUCO, Spain: An elderly woman died Friday in floods that overturned cars and forced hundreds from their homes in southern Spain, officials said.

The woman died when a river broke its banks and floodwater swept past her home in Alora, north of Malaga, a regional government spokesman told AFP. Emergency services said the woman was in her 80s.

At least 300 people had to be evacuated in the province of Malaga alone and rescuers were responding to hundreds of calls all over the wider Andalusia region, regional emergency services spokeswoman Pilar Limon said.

In the village of Villaneuva del Trabuco, roads were covered in inches of brown floodwater and teams were working to unearth cars while locals swept the muddy pavements.

"In Malaga province there are 800 staff working to return things to normal as quickly as possible. The rains are decreasing and seem to be shifting towards Granada and Almeria," further east, Limon said.

The state weather agency AEMET said up to 245 litres of water per square metre had fallen in the area during the first half of Friday.

Airports authority AENA said a flight was diverted to Seville as it headed to Malaga, which lies east of the resort city of Marbella on the Costa del Sol, a popular tourist haven.

At least two major highways were closed, authorities said.

In the neighbouring southeastern region of Murcia meanwhile, a highway bridge collapsed in the heavy rains, national television TVE reported, broadcasting a photograph of the destruction.

 
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