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Body of Dutch man missing in floods found, bringing total victims to seven

The 66-year-old was located in San Fulgencio, Alicante by a local resident. Public insurer CSS is expecting to pay out at least €190m for the damage caused by the recent extreme weather in Spain

gota fria
Emergency crews in Dolores, Alicante. EL PAÍS
Alicante / Valencia

A seventh victim of the extreme weather conditions that battered parts of Spain last week was located today in Alicante province. Early indications suggest that the body is that of a 66-year-old man of Dutch origin who disappeared on Sunday in the municipality of Dolores after being swept away by floodwater.

Since Thursday, areas of the southeast have seen torrential rainfall, flash flooding and rivers with burst banks as the result of what is known in Spain as a gota fría, literally “cold drop,” a weather phenomenon that occurs when a polar air front meets warmer conditions on the Mediterranean coast.

The first two victims of the conditions, a brother and sister, lost their lives in Caudete, Albacete on Thursday, when their vehicle was washed away by floodwater. On Friday, the body of a man was recovered after he accidentally drove into a tunnel in Almería that had been closed off due to flooding. Later that same day another man lost his life in a ravine in Baza, Granada. Also on Friday, a man aged 58 was found dead in an area of Orihuela (Valencia), while the body of a 41-year-old man was located in La Matanza (Valencia) on Saturday.

The seventh victim was located today by a man on a quad bike in San Fulgencio, Alicante. The motorist called the Civil Guard and informed the authorities that the body had the characteristics of the missing man: white hair, a tattoo and the clothes that he was wearing when he went missing.

A €190 million payout

Spain’s Insurance Compensation Consortium (CCS), a public insurer that covers natural disasters, has announced that it will pay out at least €190 million to cover the damage caused by the recent extreme weather events in Spain. Around €92 million will be sent to the Valencia region, with most of the remainder to go to neighboring Murcia. These regions were the worst hit by the “cold drop” that began last Thursday.

The CCS stated, however, that these figures were preliminary and that they were based on urgent reports carried out by insurance adjusters after analyzing the affected areas, a task that was made more difficult this past weekend given that the rainfall and flooding continued, and some areas were not accessible.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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