Monday, January 24

The rains in Euskadi isolate the Mendaro hospital and cut off two of the main highways

After almost twenty consecutive days of rain and some days also of snow, the meteorological alert for the consequent floods or landslides has caused dozens of incidents in the Basque Country on the night from Thursday to Friday. Early in the morning, according to official data, the Mendaro hospital in Gipuzkoa woke up isolated by road and it was only possible to reach it by rail. In addition, sections of two of the main motorways of the Basque network, the AP-8 (Bilbao-Donostia) and the AP-68 (Bilbao-Armiñón), as well as other roads such as the N-634, the BI- 633 (Alto de Trabakua) or the GI-631 at the height of Azkoitia, where a landslide has occurred. In areas on the outskirts of Vitoria such as Asteguieta, the overflows of the Zadorra continue to generate large flooded areas.

Asteguieta, zero zone of the Zadorra floods in Vitoria

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There have also been problems in Andoain and Astigarraga. In the case of the first town in Gipuzkoa, in the Oria river basin, rainfall has reached the red alert. In fact, the owners of many businesses have covered the entrance to their premises to prevent water from flooding them. The Urumea, for its part, has overflowed as it passed through Astigarraga and caused flooding. In Mungia, the Ertzaintza had to rescue a woman, who had been trapped at her home with her dogs due to the rising river.

“Due to the storm, this night there have been multiple landslides that are affecting the roads at this time,” the Security Department reported at 7:00 am. The BI-633 in Mallabia in the Upper Trabakua area is “totally” cut off). As for the N-634 in Eibar, Elgoibar, Deba and Mendaro. “At the moment there is no access or exit by road to the Mendaro hospital. Please do not go to the hospital even if you have an appointment,” say the authorities. “Part of the staff has been able to access the hospital, so assistance is guaranteed for about 90 patients who are currently admitted to the center,” they point out from the Department of Health, which has wanted to convey a message of tranquility to patients and families . “We have people unable to leave the house, with water in the doorways. It is a very sad day. A lot of helplessness,” said the mayor of Mendaro, Iñaki Arregi, on the microphones of Radio Euskadi. As for the highways, there is a cut in the AP-68 in Orozko (towards Vitoria) and a detour has been planned for the BI-625. A lane is open and holds are being recorded. Likewise, there is another cutoff on the AP-8 between Eibar and Elgoibar (towards Irún). “It circulates thanks to a bypass on the highway,” says Security. The N-121A is cut at the height of Behobia in both directions, with a detour that is made by the AP-8.

The necessary discharges in the Ullibarri-Gamboa reservoir are also causing the waters of the Zadorra to flood various areas of its banks. The mayor of Vitoria, Gorka Urtaran, has indicated on Cadena Ser that almost “all” the residents of the Asteguieta neighborhood have had to be relocated. Firefighters have also rescued people trapped in Estarrona or Víllodas. A fact: in 24 hours the occupation of the reservoir has gone from 86% to 92%, which is forcing the release of more than 50,000 liters per second to control the level of the reservoir. And the Ertzaintza has also alerted the residents of Ezkiaga de Beasain avenue to remove parked cars. The Euskotren line from Gernika and Bermeo also suffers from problems and in the Behobia area, in Irún, there are some streets cut off by the floods.

The Vice-Lehendakari and Security Councilor, Josu Erkoreka, has warned that the episode of rains that affects Euskadi “has not ended” and has warned that the river beds are “very high.” In an interview with Radio Euskadi, collected by Europa Press, he assured that one of the “delicate points” is the Zadorra river, after the flooding of the swamps has caused flooding. In this sense, it has recognized that it is necessary to carry out an “exhaustive monitoring” to control the contributions of water to the river, both from the rain and from the discharges. “It is a question of managing the most balanced way, but the rains have been so intense that the management of the flow of water entails difficulties,” he said, while affirming that it is a question that will be analyzed by the crisis table that will be discussed. has called for 10.00 hours.

On the other hand, he pointed out that the Basque Country is now going through a moment “of relative calm”, although the episode of rains “has not ended.” “The problem is that, starting at 7:00 p.m., a warm front enters that will again cause heavy rainfall that may last six hours. Until well into the morning there will be significant rains,” he warned. As stated, the rains will not be “as intense” as this Thursday, but “the river beds are already very high.” “The concern lies there, not so much in the rainfall,” he concluded.

To obtain official information in detail, these accounts have been arranged on Twitter:

  • Traffic in Euskadi: @trafikoaEJGV
  • Ertzaintza: @ertzaintzaEJGV
  • 112: @ 112_SOSDeiak
  • Basque Water Agency (URA): @uraEJGV