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Monday, 1 April, 2002, 15:19 GMT 16:19 UK
Tenerife floods kill six
Mud cascades down a road in Tenerife's capital, Santa Cruz
Authorities are to declare Santa Cruz a disaster area
Flash floods on the Spanish island of Tenerife are now known to have killed six people and injured at least 30 others.

The death toll rose after the body of a 20-year-old man was found near a collapsed wall where a two-year-old girl was also killed, the Associated Press reported.

The flooding followed a heavy rain storm in the region surrounding the island's capital, Santa Cruz, which swept away cars and caused walls and trees to collapse.

The flooding seems set to continue as weather forecasters predict further rain over the next few days, and flood alerts have been maintained.

Santa Cruz's mayor said hundreds of people had been forced from their homes by the sudden downpour, which cut off access to the port and brought down power and telephone lines.

Thousands stranded

Emergency technicians are working to repair electricity and telephone networks. More than 150,000 telephone lines were cut in the downpour.

A boy struggles against the water in one of the flood channels
The deluge has cut off electricity supplies

Authorities are now concerned that buildings may collapse from the rain, and are urging residents not to enter the city. Schools have also been closed for the day.

The deluge also caused mudslides, stranding thousands of people returning to Santa Cruz following the Easter holidays, and about 400 people were forced to stay in emergency accommodation.

The Red Cross relief agency said that it had deployed 120 volunteers, 10 ambulances and several boats to aid with rescue operation.

Authorities in Santa Cruz are expected to declare the city a disaster area.

The BBC's Duncan Kennedy
"Local people cannot believe what has happened"
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