by Richard Davies, floodlist
A short period of torrential rain caused dramatic flash floods in the Aragón Region of Spain on 06 July 2023.
The State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) said the region was hit by a series of storms in a short period during the afternoon and evening of 06 July 2023.
According to AEMET figures, the town of Alcañiz in Teruel Province recorded 46 mm of rain in a few hours, with 27.6 mm falling in just 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in the regional capital Zaragoza, the weather station at Valdespartera in the city recorded 54 mm during the storm, with 19.6 mm falling in a 10-minute period.
The government of Aragón said numerous roads were cut and homes were flooded in areas of Teruel and Zaragoza Provinces. Residents of a flooded house in Alcañiz were evacuated and relocated to a hostel. Heavy hail destroyed fruit crops in Bajo Aragón, Calatayud, and Cariñena.
The most dramatic flooding occurred in Zaragoza. Videos shared on Social Media showed raging flood waters sweeping through central parts of the city, in particular along the Z-30 road in the Parque Venecia neighbourhood. Firefighters had to rescue people who were trapped on the roof of their vehicles or left clinging to trees.
In total there were 15 high water rescues, 140 evacuations, and more than 400 interventions from firefighters, police, and other municipal services, the government of Zaragoza said. Six of those rescued were taken to hospital for assessments or minor injuries. No fatalities were reported.
Elsewhere in the city, a school building and a shopping center were damaged and several other roads were flooded. Rail and tram transport in the area were also negatively impacted. Roads and homes were also flooded in the towns of Cuarte de Huerva and Cadrete just outside the city. The roof of a building was destroyed by heavy rain in El Burgo de Ebro, to the southeast of Zaragoza. Two residents were evacuated, unharmed.
Natalia Chueca, the Mayor of Zaragoza, visited affected areas soon after the event. The mayor said the material damage was considerable but the quick and effective interventions of firefighters and police prevented further personal injuries.
A team of over 200 personnel were deployed to carry out clean-up operations immediately after the event.