By Eva Manez and Joan Faus
ALCANAR, Spain (Reuters) – An intense storm wreaked havoc in many parts of Spain on Wednesday, causing flooding in some cities, leaving thousands of people without electricity and forcing the closure of some roads and rail links.
The storm, which gained strength due to high temperatures and humidity, mainly hit the coastal city of Alcanar, in northeastern Catalonia.
Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez expressed solidarity with the affected areas and urged people to be extremely cautious and follow the guidelines of the emergency services, as more rain was expected during the night.
Some streets in Alcanar quickly turned into torrents, with a powerful stream of water pushing cars, furniture and trees. Emergency teams rescued dozens of people trapped in vehicles, homes and camps in the area, officials said.
About a dozen people were transferred to a sports arena turned into a shelter, while two hotels were hosting more than 20 people, Catalonia’s emergency service said in a statement.
No deaths were reported. Three people were taken to a local hospital with mild symptoms of hypothermia.
About 5,000 homes in the region remained without electricity service, mobile communications were also affected, and several roads and rail links were disrupted.
Heavy rains and flooding were also reported in the central regions of Castilla-La Mancha and Navarre, disrupting the high-speed rail link between the Spanish capital Madrid and Toledo, according to rail administrator Adif.
(Reporting by Joan Faus in Barcelona, Eva Manez in Alcanar and Lorena Sopena in Amposta)
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