DEVASTATING flash floods in Majorca have claimed the lives of at least ten people, including an elderly British couple.

The pair, a married couple in their 70s, died in a taxi in S'Illlot after 'biblical' torrential rainstorms hit the north east of the popular holiday island.

They were later identified as Anthony and Delia Green.

Three were injured and more than 200 residents evacuated, as the rainstorm flooded houses and left hundreds trapped in their homes.

Mr Green, 77, and his wife, 75, were being driven to a hotel in Cala Bona when they were caught in the floodwaters.

The car was submerged and on its side at the mouth of the torrent in S'Illot on Wednesday. 

The couple's bodies were reportedly found by military divers still inside.

The taxi driver is thought to be among the people found dead, although officials have not confirmed his body has been found.

The Foreign Office said it was supporting their family and was ready to assist any other British people affected.

Weather forecasters said that eight inches of rain fell in the area in just four hours.

The Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, flew to the island to offer support to the emergency services, and announced that n the north east town of Sant Llorenc des Cardassar, would be declared a disaster zone.


He offered his condolences to the victims’ families and said the area “can count on the government’s support in getting back to normal as soon as possible”.

"Given the magnitude of what happened we are going to unleash all resources necessary to return their lives to their everydayness, but the most urgent thing right now is to find those people disappeared," he said.

The deputy mayor of Sant Llorenc, Antonia Bauza said that two others killed in the area were locals. 

He said: "It was a massive storm. Some 180 litres of rain fell in two hours. We realised we could not control the water. 

"The situation is a disaster and we're trying to locate survivors and help people but everything is flooded and people cannot leave their homes."

Among the dead is Rafel Gili, a former mayor of the city of Arta, after his car was dragged to the sea by the flood.

A tenth victim was said by the Civil Guard in Sant Llorenc to be a mother who died while trying to save her eight-year-old girl and five-year-old son who were trapped in her car. The girl survived but the boy remains missing.

Emergency services confirmed the five-year-old boy remained unaccounted for.

Videos showed cars being washed away in fast-moving, muddy water more than a metre deep.

The neighbouring islands of Ibiza and Formentera were on alert as the rainstorms swept through.

Footage of the aftermath showed a string of damaged and upturned vehicles, many of them covered in debris.

Local reports say people were rescued from roofs and trees after the flooding began on Tuesday evening.

The current world number one tennis player Rafael Nadal, who is from the island, offered to open up his sports centre and tennis academy to people displaced by the floods.

“Our most sincere condolences to the loved ones of the victims of the serious floods in Sant Llorenc,” he wrote.

A spokeswoman for the Balearic islands’ emergency services said a Dutch woman had also died in the flooding. Other victims were found in Artà and the coastal town of S’illot.

Witnesses said a dry creek overflowed, creating a strong current of water and mud that buried cars and tore down trees.

"It all happened in less than 10 minutes," a witness told Spanish TV. "We had to swim to try to survive."

Authorities said 80 soldiers and seven vehicles from the military's emergency unit joined more than 100 rescuers who had been working in the area overnight.

At least three towns closed schools and hundreds of people were given shelter in sport facilities. 
The flooding also affected phone communications and forced the closure of at least seven major roads.

The Spanish weather agency said more heavy rainfall is expected on Wednesday in eastern and southern parts of the Iberian peninsula.

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed: “We are supporting the family of two British people following their deaths in Spain, and will do all we can to assist them at this deeply difficult time.

“Our staff remain in contact with the Spanish authorities who are responsible for responding to the floods, and are ready to assist any other British people who require our help.”