Massive hailstorm and torrential rain cause widespread damage in Spain’s Murcia

Massive hailstorm and torrential rain cause widespread damage in Spain's Murcia

An intense hailstorm battered the Spanish region of Murcia on June 21, 2023, causing extensive damage across several municipalities, including Caravaca and Moratalla. The severe weather conditions have been marked by hailstones as large as golf balls, historic flooding, numerous lightning strikes, and substantial rainfall.

Casas de Navarro, situated in Caravaca, bore witness to the severity of the storm, recording a striking 50 mm (2 inches) of hail accumulation. The storm was marked by more than 500 lightning strikes during the course of the afternoon.

The weather event also brought torrential downpours, leading to substantial amounts of rainfall in various regions. AEMET, the Spanish State Meteorological Agency, reported that the area around Caravaca recorded an astonishing 41 mm (1.6 inches) of rainfall in just an hour and 11.6 mm (0.4 inches) in a span of 10 minutes.

The Argos and Benamor river basins were particularly impacted, with heavy rainfall exceeding historical records. The Argos River, flowing through Caravaca de la Cruz and neighbouring Cehegín, experienced record flooding, peaking at 2.40 m (7.9 feet) above the river bed at Puente Santo. This flood event has now been declared as the largest for the Argos River in the 21st century.

One family had to be airlifted to safety by a firefighting helicopter after water levels in their house rose to 1.5 m (4.9 feet).

Further complications arose due to landslides on the RM-703 road, which links Moratalla with Campo de Béjar, leading to additional transportation issues in the area.

References:

1 Flooding and hailstorms devastate northern Murcia, but weekend forecast is for sun – Murcia Today- June 22, 2023

2 Devastating hailstorm ravages Murcia – EuroWeekly – June 22, 2023

Featured image credit: Suremet

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