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Floods hit northern Spain as river bursts banks due to heavy rainfall


MADRID, July 4 (Xinhua) - Intense rainfall early on Friday morning has caused the river Baztan in the north Spanish Community of Navarra to burst its banks and flood parts of the town of Elizondo, it was reported on Spanish television.

The heavy rain, which was caused by a deep area of low pressure over central and northern Spain, saw the river Baztan unable to cope with a flow of 350 cubic meters per second and its level rose to almost four meters, flooding the heart of Elizondo, where several people needed to be rescued from their homes and cars were carried away by the strength of the floodwater.

This is the latest incident in what has been a chaotic 48 hours in terms of weather in Spain.

Tuesday saw a spectacular hailstorm leave around one meter of ice in the streets of the town of Almazan, which is in the province of Soria.

The hail which fell in the period of just an hour has provoked flood damage of varying degrees in over 60 percent of the buildings in the locality of around 6,000 inhabitants.

Wednesday was spent clearing away the hail, although some ice could still be seen on the town streets on Thursday morning, despite it being high summer in Spain.

Madrid was also affected by a serious hailstorm on Wednesday, the hail causes flooding in several areas of the Spanish capital and trains had to be suspended on some parts of the city metro.

Meanwhile flights had to be diverted from Madrid's Adolfo Suarez-Barajas airport and the airport's Terminal 4 was also badly flooded as the roof of the terminal leaked badly.

Hailstorms throughout the region have also caused widespread damage to crops, while over 9,000 lightning strikes were recorded in the country on Wednesday.

Finally service was resumed on the high-speed rail link between Madrid and Alicante on Friday after heavy rain washed away ballast supporting the line on Wednesday, forcing one train to a halt and subsequent trains to be diverted to non-high-speed lines.