AFTER the wettest Fallas in history there was no let-up in downpours all day Monday, with rivers bursting their banks and motorists having to be rescued from stranded vehicles. In Castellón, where the city’s festival, La Magdalena, has just got underway, many events have been cancelled.
Fallas 2022 will be remembered as the rainiest in history and also with the least amount of sunshine; the clouds broke and the sun shone for just one hour and 20 minutes in total. This, in Valencia, the city where the sun always shines.
Historic rainfall and traffic chaos
The rainstorms left record levels of more than 300 litres per square metre in 24 hours in the area where Castellón and Valencia provinces join, with peaks in rainfall of up to 373 litres in Eslida (Castellón).
According to the State Meteorological Agency – which includes records of the Valencian Meteorological Agency – one of the points where most rainfall occurred was the Serra d’Espadà.
In Castellón, the Belcaire River overflowed in Moncofa, as did the River Anna in Borriana. Meanwhile the River Túria in Ribarroja del Túria filled its floodplain as the river swelled and almost reached the bridge above it.
Trains between Buñol and Utiel were unable to pass due to the accumulation of water on the line following the heavy rains.
On the roads, access to the l’Oliveral industrial estate in Ribarroja from the A-3 motorway was cut off due to the sheer quantity of water. In addition, the Nacional III, in Utiel, at kilometre point 265, was cut off in both directions.
The rain that fell early Tuesday morning caused the River Magro to overflow in some parts of Algemesí and Guadassuar. The Carraixet ravine burst its banks in Moncada as well as at its mouth in Alboraia and 15 people had to be evacuated as a precautionary measure, as well as having to cut off several adjacent roads.
In the early hours of Tuesday morning, firefighters rescued two people who were travelling in a truck and were caught by the rising water level on a road in Quart de Poblet.
Firefighters reported having been called to 15 incidents throughout the night.
Wettest March in 138 years
The València observatory has accumulated a total of 145.6 litres of rainwater per square metre so far this month, making it the wettest March since 1884, 138 years ago, when 183 litres were recorded.
In the past 24 hours a total of 284 litres have accumulated in Chera, 186 in Alcudia de Veo, 163 in Benagéber, 154 in Alfondeguilla, 153 in Siete Aguas, 151 in Loriguilla, 138 in Vila-real, 131 in Altura, 123 in Algar de Palancia and 117.8 in Castelló.
The heavy rains have subsided throughout Tuesday, however, despite this, AEMET maintains the yellow level for wind, rain and coastal phenomena in much of the region, as storms are expected to return again on Wednesday with force,