Holiday nightmare: Spain flights diverted as freak hailstorm triggers extreme flash floods

A sudden and severe freak hailstorm has struck Madrid, bringing the Spanish capital to a standstill. Just weeks after a record-breaking heatwave throughout Europe, flash floods have swept through Madrid. Widespread travel disruption has been reported, with flights at the nearby airport diverted and metro stations shut down.

The worst-hit area – Arganda del Rey – saw more than 40 litres of hail fall per square metre in just half an hour.

Residents of Arganda del Rey, a municipality of the Madrid region located 30km south of the Spanish capital, spoke of their horror as they faced the extreme weather.

Flash floods turned over cars and rivers of water dragged trash bins down the streets.

In shocking footage filmed by residents, cars can be seen being swept away in the torrents of floodwater.

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The local fire service was inundated with emergency calls, after more than a thousand calls were made in between 4pm and 9pm yesterday.

The main issues concerned flooding in basements and garages, as well as fallen tree branches.

Flights to and from the nearby Madrid-Barajas airport were also disrupted, while the city’s metro underground system was forced to shut down.

Flights from London, Turin, Bolonia and Doha scheduled to land in Madrid-Barajas airport at midnight were forced to divert, according to air controllers.

Fortunately, no-one has been reported injured so far.

More than 9,300 bolts of lightning struck Madrid last night, according to Spain’s state meteorological office, Aemet.

Aemet also warned that the disruptive weather is set to continue, as Spain braces for more rain.

Aemet said a cold front moving eastwards had placed Valencia, Alicante, Murcia and the Balearics on orange alert.