One dead, two missing in flash floods in Spain

Last month record rainfall in southeastern Spain claimed seven lives. (File/AFP)
Updated 23 October 2019

One dead, two missing in flash floods in Spain

  • The body of a man was found late on Tuesday in a beach in the town of Caldes d’Estrac some 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Barcelona
  • Last year 13 people died on Spain’s holiday island of Mallorca as intense rain caused rivers to overflow with raging waters

Barcelona: One man has died and two people are missing following torrential rains that caused flash floods in northeastern Spain, local officials said Wednesday.

The body of a man was found late on Tuesday in a beach in the town of Caldes d’Estrac some 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Barcelona, regional police said on Twitter.

Firefighters said they were looking for two people — reportedly a mother and her son — whose prefab home was swept away by flood waters in Vilaverd, a village some 30 kilometers (20 miles) from the port of Tarragona.

Authorities said heavy overnight rainfall in the northeastern region of Catalonia caused power cuts that affected nearly 25,000 people and forced the closure of over 40 roads due to flooding and landslides.

Last month record rainfall in southeastern Spain claimed seven lives.

Last year 13 people died on Spain’s holiday island of Mallorca as intense rain caused rivers to overflow with raging waters that tore through streets and swept away cars.


Hong Kong police fire tear gas to break up anti-government protest

Updated 27 min 21 sec ago

Hong Kong police fire tear gas to break up anti-government protest

  • Hong Kong police intervened promptly when the rally turned into an impromptu march
  • The protests had lost some of their intensity in recent weeks

HONG KONG: Police fired tear gas on Sunday to disperse thousands of anti-government protesters who gathered in a central Hong Kong park, but later spilled onto the streets in violation of police orders.
Out in numbers before the demonstration began, police intervened promptly when the rally turned into an impromptu march. Several units of police in riot gear were seen chasing protesters and several arrests were made.
A water cannon truck drove on central streets, flanked by an armored jeep, but was not used.
Organizers initially applied for a permit for a march, but police only agreed to a static rally in the park, saying previous marches have turned violent.
Once protesters spilled onto the streets, some of them, wearing all-black clothing, barricaded the roads with umbrellas and street furniture, dug up bricks from the pavement and smashed traffic lights.
The “Universal Siege Against Communism” demonstration was the latest in a relentless series of protests against the government since June, when Hong Kongers took to the streets to voice their anger over a now-withdrawn extradition bill.
The protests, which have since broadened to include demands for universal suffrage and an independent investigation into police handling of the demonstrations, had lost some of their intensity in recent weeks.
In an apparent new tactic, police have been showing up ahead of time in riot gear, with officers conducting “stop and search” operations near expected demonstrations.
“Everyone understands that there’s a risk of stop-and-search or mass arrests. I appreciate Hong Kong people still come out courageously, despite the risk,” said organizer Ventus Lau.
On Jan 1, a march of tens of thousands of people ended with police firing tear gas to disperse crowds.
The gathering in the park was initially relaxed, with many families with children listening to speeches by activists.
In one corner, a group of volunteers set up a stand where people could leave messages on red cards for the lunar new year to be sent to those who have been arrested. One read: “Hong Kongers won’t give up. The future belongs to the youth”.
Authorities in Hong Kong have arrested more than 7,000 people, many on charges of rioting that can carry jail terms of up to 10 years. It is unclear how many are still in custody.
Anger has grown over the months due to perceptions that Beijing was tightening its grip over the city, which was handed over to China by Britain in 1997 in a deal that ensured it enjoyed liberties unavailable in the mainland.
Beijing denies meddling and blames the West for fomenting unrest.