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Planes grounded as sudden storm floods runways at Spanish airport

By Jack Guy, CNN

(CNN) — Flights at Palma de Mallorca airport in Mallorca, Spain, were suspended Tuesday after a sudden storm flooded runways.

Video footage from inside the airport terminal show water gushing through the roof of the building, and photos show flood waters almost reaching the bottom of plane engines.

Operations were “temporarily suspended” as flooding affected part of the facility, airport operator AENA said in a statement Tuesday.

Figures from Spain’s state weather service AEMET show that 71.8 millimeters of rain fell at its station at the airport in four hours, the first time it had rained in a week.

On Wednesday, an AENA spokesperson told CNN that flights were suspended for two hours, affecting 100 out of 900 flights scheduled for the day. The airport is now operating normally, added the spokesperson.

The airport is the third busiest in Spain, receiving more than 31 million passengers in 2023, an increase of 8.9% compared to the previous year, according to figures from AENA.

Mallorca is part of Spain’s Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean. The island’s relatively warm climate all year round, and abundance of beaches, make it a popular destination for tourists from across Europe.

In May, authorities in the Balearic islands announced a crackdown on public drinking and party boats as part of modifications to a 2020 decree that addressed “excess tourism.”

The new rules ban drinking in the streets in key tourist areas on the islands of Ibiza and Mallorca, with an exception for terraces and other licensed areas. Penalties for violations will range from €500 to €1,500 ($540-$1,615).

Party boats that sell alcohol on board will also be prohibited to be within one nautical mile of the areas included in the decree. Boarding or disembarking passengers will also be prohibited in the affected areas.

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