As reported by Reuters UK, following torrential rains on Mallorca in the Balearic Islands of Spain on Tuesday night, at least nine deaths have resulted, including a British couple who were travelling in a taxi when the flash floods hit. The flash flood was one of the worst to hit Spain in 25 years. There are six people missing, according to authorities.

Three people died in S’Illot, four in the Sant Lorenç des Cardassar neighbourhood and one in Artà. El Pais in English reports there is no information yet released on the ninth victim of the floods.

Torrential rains and flash flooding in Mallorca

El Pais quotes AEMET, Spain’s national weather service, as saying over 230 mm of rain fell in only two hours. AEMET says the probability of so much rain falling in the Colònia de Sant Pere area near Sant Lorenç as was recorded on Tuesday, is one in a thousand years.

The torrential rain flooded the Ses Planes arroyo, which is normally dry, causing flash floods in the historical centre of the city, flooding houses, dragging cars and leaving many residents trapped in their own homes.

Many people were rescued from the rooftops and balconies of their houses, while three were injured and 200 fled their homes. Among the six missing people are residents of the towns of Manacor and Sant Llorenç and British nationals.

The Civil Guard said in a statement that the British couple that was killed were in a taxi as the flash floods hit.

Currently, the driver is still missing. Among the dead was an elderly disabled man who was found in the basement of his home by a rescue team. Another person died when caught by the flash flooding on the road between Canyamel and Artà.

Early this morning, two more deaths were confirmed by emergency services, including a woman who died in her home in Sant Llorenç and another victim in S’Illot.

One other victim still has to be identified. According to the Artà Town Hall, a former mayor of that town, Rafael, 71, also died after getting caught up in the floods.

Drivers trapped in their cars

Many drivers were trapped in their cars when the flash flooding hit and required rescue. Authorities in Mallorca say 11 roads are still closed on the island. 8,000 residents in Sant Llorenç were asked by emergency services to stay in their homes and only leave in a case of emergency. Schools in la Colònia de Sant Pere, Son Servera, Sant Llorenç and Artà remain closed.

Tweet translation: Cars on the guard rails and dragged off the hard shoulder after the floods on the road that connects the Mallorcan municipalities of Manacor and Sant Llorenç.

The rescue effort on the island has been complicated by the fact that several electricity transformers and a cell phone antenna were downed, leaving areas of the island without power and making communications difficult.

Regional Finance and Public Administration chief Catalina Cladera has described the flash floods as “devastating.” She said they had no warning of the impending floods and that the weather alert changed from yellow to orange very suddenly.

Three days of mourning declared

Three days of mourning have been declared for the lives lost in the flash floods to allow people to be with their families. The area is also being declared a disaster zone. Many residents are starting to pick up the pieces of their devastated homes, while wrecked vehicles are being collected from the streets after the water has subsided.

Approximately 400 emergency service personnel, firemen, local police and Civil Guard officers are assessing the damage from the flash flooding and hoping to start a recovery effort. The local government also called on the Defence Ministry to give additional support and seven military emergency vehicles and 80 officers travelled from Valencia to Palma de Mallorca early on Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, the Balearic Islands are still on orange alert as more rain is expected today. Barcelona, Girona and Málaga on the mainland are also on orange alert, while Tarragona is currently on a yellow alert.