France and Spain – devastating flash floods after heavy rains

More than 40 mm of rain fell in 1 hour, causing flash flooding in parts of southern Spain in the early morning hours of August 25, 2021. The day before, a storm in southeastern France dumped more than 100 mm of rain in a short period, causing flooding in the Var department.

France

According to Météo-France, their rain gauges recorded 81.3 mm at Vauvenargue, near Bouch du Rhône, on August 24, nearly 3 times the monthly average for August at that station. A total of 58 mm fell in 1 hour.

The town of Pignans in the Var department, which has been hit hard by flooding, received hail and torrential rains with a total intensity of more than 100 mm. The town was completely closed to traffic after streets were flooded with mud and floodwaters 30 cm deep, police said.

More than 100 firefighters were dispatched to the area and conducted 110 operations. A total of 22 families were relocated from flooded homes. According to the mayor of Pignans, Fernand Brune, there were no injuries or casualties.

Elsewhere in France, floods and heavy rains damaged a hospital building in Salon de Provence in the Bouches du Rhône department, but there were no casualties.

Spain

Spain experienced flash flooding on August 25 after storms in the southern parts of the country brought brief heavy rains in the early hours.

Flash floods swept through Burunchell and nearby areas in the province of Jaén, Andalucía. Cars were wrecked and houses flooded. Roads were drowned in mud and debris. There were no reports of casualties, however. Authorities reported that several roads were closed to traffic on August 25.

In Cazorla in the province of Jaén, Andalucía, 45 mm of rain fell in 1 hour.

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