by Álvaro VILLALOBOS
Sant Llorenç des Cardassar (España) (AFP) | 10 October 2018 21:52
Located some 10 kilometres (six miles) from the sea, the town was the worst affected by floods that left at least 10 people dead, including Britons and a Dutch woman, in an island known for its beaches and tourism.
A five-year-old boy is still missing.
Rafael Nadal, who lives on Majorca, helped with the clean-up/YouTube
Intense, driving rain on Tuesday afternoon surprised locals who only had a precious few seconds to react before a torrent tore through the 8,000-strong town after a river overflowed.
Pedro Sanchez, a resident in Sant Llorenc, said he jumped into his car when he saw the murky flood water rise.
“But I saw that the water was taking me away,” the 40-year-old told AFP.
“It rose two metres (6.5 feet) in 30 seconds, and luckily the water pressed me against a wall,” he said, standing in a road blocked by a jumble of bed bases and debris.
“I got out through the car window and got to safety on the roof of a neighbour’s house.”
He said he was lucky to survive, and his car wasn’t too damaged.
“My father’s car has been ruined,” he added.
As emergency vehicles came and went, residents used brooms to chase out water from their homes, or tried to get rid of the thick mud with hoses.
The streets were full of branches and the trunks of trees torn out of the soil had been moved to the sides.
– ‘Ground zero’ –
Carmen Barco, her shirt and trousers covered in mud, told AFP that her elderly mother saw water pour into her kitchen.
“The water rose more than a metre and a half in the house,” said the 50-year-old, who lives in Palma de Majorca and came to help.
Barco said her mother climbed out of a window and managed to get to the top half of the house, where she spent the night.
“There are two inches of mud, the furniture is strewn across the floor, clothes, photos, all scattered. But she’s alive, thank god.”
Jose Daniel Capo, the 36-year-old director of a night club nearby, came to help out.
He arrived at seven in the morning and described the scene as “a disaster”.
“All the houses were flooded, they were bailing out water,” he said.
He added that lots of people from neighbouring villages came to help.
“We went to the town hall and they told us where we had to go,” he said.
“We’ve been taking mud out of the houses. And tomorrow we’re coming in the morning,” added Juana Maria Mulet, who came with friends from the nearby town of Manacor.
Demetrio Barrachina of the emergency military unit told AFP the situation “continues to be difficult” in Sant Llorenc.
“We’re going to focus all our efforts on this ground zero” all night, he said.
He added rescue workers were looking for the five-year-old who disappeared in the area.
Altogether, some 450 emergency workers have been deployed in the village.
© 2018 AFP