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Smashed cars, strewn furniture and inches of mud after Majorca floods

AFP logoAFP 11/10/2018 Álvaro VILLALOBOS

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 © Provided by AFP 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 Mangled vehicles, wet mattresses, rubble, trees torn right out from their roots and mud everywhere: Sant Llorenc des Cardassar was in disarray Wednesday after flash floods hit the Spanish holiday island of Majorca.

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.

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.

Locals people have struggled to remove debris from the streets and muddy water from their homes © Provided by AFP Locals people have struggled to remove debris from the streets and muddy water from their homes "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.

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 © Provided by AFP 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 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.

Many homes are caked with a thick layer of mud © Provided by AFP Many homes are caked with a thick layer of mud "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.

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