Heavy rain prompts shutdowns and evacuations in central Spain

Forecasts of heavy rain in central Spain on Sunday led authorities to shut down train lines, cancel a Spanish league soccer game and order citizens to stay indoors.

Spain’s weather service issued warnings for intense rainstorms in Madrid and surrounding areas.

Spain’s state rail authority said that train service between Madrid and the eastern coastal area of Valencia and other lines had been suspended.

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Pedro Ruiz of Madrid’s emergency services said the city activated protocols to prepare for flooding. The agency said it sent text messages to Madrid residents with instructions to stay at home and to avoid using cars.


MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 03: Several people shelter from the rain with umbrellas on September 3, 2023, in Madrid, Spain. The DANA, which arrived on September 1, has brought heavy rainfall to much of the Peninsula and the Balearic Islands. The State

Madrid Mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida called for people to remain off the streets to help emergency crews move with greater speed during what he said was expected to be "an exceptional and truly rare situation in terms of precipitation."

Almeida said the record for rainfall in Madrid from 1972 of 87 liters per square meter would most likely be broken with a forecast of 120 liters per square meter.

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The Spanish soccer league said it postponed Atletico Madrid’s home game with Sevilla after considering the warnings from the weather service and the recommendation of Madrid’s municipal government.

The forecast of intense rain comes after Spain endured an intense heat wave and persistent high temperatures in August.

On Saturday, local media reported that police were investigating whether two people who died while practicing canyoning in northern Spain had drowned.