A 28-year-old man who “could not swim” has died after he was pulled into the sea overflowing with torrential rain. The incident took place on the Saler beach in Valencia, Spain at around 5pm local time as the region was hit by a record downpour. The victim, reportedly of Pakistani origin, was out walking with friends when he got caught up in the flooding.
Torrential rains have struck the Valencian community this week after one of the driest years to date in Spain.
Officers from the Guardia Civil and Local Police, as well as a SAMU ambulance, Basic Life Support and the Fire Brigade rushed to Saler Beach, south of the city centre, in the torrential downpour after receiving calls concerning a potential drowned victim.
The man had to be rescued by the Geas team (Special Group of Underwater Activities) of the Guardia Civil.
For more than an hour, the emergency teams that were sent to the scene tried to revive him but could do nothing to save his life.
The young man of Pakistani origin did not know how to swim, according to local reports, and had been dragged into the water by the torrential rains.
The southeastern coastline of Spain, having suffered its driest year in decades, has been badly hit by the downpours this week.
The most extreme rainfall occurred in the Vall d’Albaida, while according to the State Meteorological Agency (Aemet), 127.4 litres per square metre had accumulated in Ontinyent.
Until now, the highest rainfall recorded in Ontinyent on a May day in the last 100 years was 84 litres, on 3 May 1992. On a spring or summer day, the maximum accumulated was 107.2 on 22 March 1973.
Classes were suspended and schools closed on May 23 in Ontinyent as a result of the torrential rains.
Despite the extreme downpours, though, Spain is still on course for its driest spring since records began.
Rainfall would have to double between now and the end of September for the year to end with a normal value, according to experts.
The spokesman for the AEMET, Ruben del Campo, stressed that, despite the amounts of rain collected, from 1 March to 21 May, 48 litres per square metre have fallen in Spain, making this the driest spring in the entire historical series, which began in 1961.
Mr Del Campo stressed that it is even “far from” reaching the spring of 1995, the driest until now, when 86 litres per square metre fell.
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