Spanish tourist resort Santa Pola hit by ‘weather tsunami’

A resort in Spain’s popular tourist area of Alicante has been hit by a “meteotsunami,” which left streets and beaches flooded and boats tossed ashore.

On Wednesday evening, Santa Pola was hit by a strange weather incident that caused tsunami-like waves to crash onto the coastal area.

Waves of water spilled onto land, damaging fishing boats and flooding coastal embankments.

Meteotsunamis, called rissaga in Catalan Spanish, result from abrupt changes in the atmosphere. They are often caused by weather phenomena such as abnormal heat waves.

Local Santa Pola police reported on their social media pages, “An unexpected meteorological phenomenon surprised us this evening, a sudden ‘high tide’ caused many problems for the moored fishing fleet, even carrying several out into the ocean.”

“This phenomenon has caused various damages on the coast, so we ask for patience while the competent services perform appropriate mitigation tasks.”

Hot weather is expected in Spain and nearby countries of Portugal and Italy in the coming days, thanks to a front coming north from the Sahara. Some forecasters warn that temperatures will reach 47C and the heat will last at least until Monday.

A spokesman for the Spanish weather service AEMET said: “A heat wave is likely in mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands.

This could lead to adverse health effects and a significant risk of wildfires.”

Temperatures in Sicily reached 47C on Tuesday, close to Italy’s highest recorded temperature of 48.5C.

Then on Wednesday in Syracuse, located on the southeast coast of the island, the temperature rose to a record 48.8 degrees, according to the Agrometeorological Information System of Sicily (SIAS).

Previously, Athens held the record for the hottest temperature in Europe, 48C, recognized by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Forest fires similar to those that have engulfed Greece, Cyprus and Turkey are predicted in some areas.

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