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4 elderly residents die as rain-swollen river floods nursing home

Published 03/11/2015

A man walks along the beach in stormy weather in Barcelona, Spain (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
A man walks along the beach in stormy weather in Barcelona, Spain (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Four elderly residents died when a river in north-eastern Spain, swollen by torrential rain, overflowed its banks and inundated a nursing home, authorities said.

Five other residents were rescued and taken to hospital after the water engulfed the ground floor of the building next to the Sio River in the town of Agramunt, about 90 minutes' drive inland from Barcelona.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy tweeted condolences to the victims' families.

Agramunt Mayor Xavier Secanell told Rac1 radio that the flooding put much of the town underwater in less than 30 minutes before dawn.

He said it did not rain in Agramunt but the river was swollen by downpours upstream.

The deaths in Spain came two days after the same series of storms hit a seaside resort in Portugal, killing an 80-year-old man whose car was found submerged on Monday.

The storm in the Portuguese town of Albufeira swept away cars, uprooted trees and washed away roads. Shops were flooded with brown water almost to the ceiling.

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