MADRID: At least nine people died, including two British nationals, and six others were missing on Wednesday in devastating flash floods on the Spanish holiday island of Majorca, authorities said.

Footage broadcast on Spanish television showed cars being swept away by raging, muddy waters, houses flooded and vehicles piled one on top of the other after the Mediterranean island was pounded with heavy rain in just a few hours.

One witness told a local newspaper he had to swim out of his car through a window to safety.

“I swam 500 metres through the torrent until I got to a house,” Manuel Torrescusa told the Diario de Mallorca.

“I hardly had any clothes on me as they all got caught on a metal fence when I was swimming.”

A spokesman for the Spanish central government’s office in the Balearic Islands said nine people had died while six others had been formally identified as missing.

He warned there could be more people missing.

Antonia Bauza, deputy mayor of Sant Llorenc des Cardassar, told Spanish radio that two British nationals were among the dead.

She added there were also Britons among the missing.

Neither the emergency services, police nor the British foreign office were able to confirm this when contacted by AFP.

“The priority is to identify survivors and rescue people stuck at home,” Bauza said.

“We have lots of vacation homes.”

Emergency services in the archipelago updated information regularly on Twitter, sending out tweets in Spanish, Catalan, English and German in an indication of the prevalence of tourists and foreign residents on the island. AFP

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