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Severe flooding hits parts of Spain as Storm Dana produces record-breaking rainfall

storm dana 0945z september 3 2023 meteosat-10

A torrential downpour caused by the slow-moving storm Dana overwhelmed Spain on September 3, 2023, leading to significant flooding across central and eastern parts of the nation. Marked as the most intense storm of the year, cities on the eastern coast reported record-breaking rainfall amounts.

A powerful storm brought extensive rainfall to many parts of the country, most notably central, eastern, southern, and southeastern Spain, marking it as the most severe weather event for the nation in 2023.

Red rain warnings were issued in areas like Madrid, La Mancha Toledana, Sur, Vegas and Oeste, and Sierra de Madrid, indicating the potential severity of the rainfall. On the other hand, regions including Sistema Central de Ávila, Sur de Ávila, Sistema Central de Segovia, and the vicinities of Alicante, Tarragona, and Valencia were placed under orange warnings, signaling an increased risk of heavy rainfall.

Madrid’s mayor, José Luis Martínez Almeida, recognizing the potential threats posed by such intense rainfall, advised the city’s residents to remain indoors as forecasts had predicted a massive 120 mm (4.7 inches) of rain over a span of 12 hours. Meanwhile, the eastern coast witnessed even more startling figures, registering over 250 mm (9.8 inches) of rain within a single day. This led authorities to advise residents against any non-essential travel.

Alcanar, located in Tarragona on the eastern coast, became one of the primary concerns for emergency services. With a whopping 215 mm (8.4 inches) of rain within the past day, there was a pressing need for immediate action. Close to 10 000 residents were urged to relocate to higher ground.

The storm’s effects weren’t just limited to residential areas. The Renfe railway service, which serves as a crucial transit line between Catalonia and Valencia, had to suspend its operations due to Dana’s overwhelming rains.

Bad weather is expected to continue through Monday, September 4.


1 Madrid residents advised to stay home as torrential rain sweeps across Spain – Reuters – September 4, 2023

2 ‘DANA’ storm batters Spain with torrential rain, to continue Monday – UPI – September 3, 2023

Featured image: Storm Dana at 09:45 UTC on September 3, 2023. Credit: EUMETSAT/Meteosat-10, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers


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