These startling images show how storm Gloria has devastated Spain’s Ebro river delta causing serious flooding as the sea washed nearly two miles inland.
Aerial footage taken at the Ebro river delta, located in the eastern Spanish region of Tarragona, Catalonia region, shows how the area has been left almost entirely underwater by the storm which has left 10 people dead and six people missing.
The footage was shot by firefighters in the Far del Fangar area and shows how 300 hectares of rice paddies were flooded by the sea which came three kilometres (1.8 miles) inland.
Lluis Soler, the mayor of Deltebre, explained to local media that the Ebro river overflowed in the area of Garxal in the delta, but the main damage was caused in the area of Bassa de l’Arena, where the seawater came inland.
He said: “We cannot remember anything similar. It is terrible to see the river overflowing and the sea coming inland.”
Sofia Rivaes, the head of the technical office of the Spanish Ornithological Society (Sociedad Espanola de Ornitologia, SEO/BirdLife) said the “effects of the climate changes are here, but the spotlight of the problems are in the lack of arrival of sediment and the reduction of the river waters”.
She asked the authorities to avoid rushing into decisions as the ecosystem is unstable.
The satellite of the Copernicus programme of the European Space Agency has shared startling before-and-after pictures of the delta.
The latest of the 10 victims of the storm was named as a 69-year-old resident of Palafrugell, in Catalonia region, who died whilst trying to check his boat in the port of Palamos, in Girona.
Six people have been reported as missing, among them a 25-year-old man British man named Ben Garland, who went missing on Ibiza island, in the eastern Spanish region of the Balearic Islands.
A video shared by firefighters shows a horse being rescued from the floodwaters.
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