Car smashed against a lamppost

Torrential rain causes devastating flooding in the Catalan town of Alcanar

Flash floods swept cars down streets in a seaside town in northeastern Spain on Wednesday as other parts of the country were hit by overnight storms.

A downpour quickly overwhelmed the Catalan town of Alcanar, where waters brown with soil swept up cars and sent them hurtling down streets toward the Mediterranean.

Amateur video also showed chairs typically used for outdoor seating being carried away at high speeds.

Over 215 litres per square metre (40 gallons per square yard) fell on Alcanar from midnight to 0200 local time (2200-0000GMT Tuesday), the regional weather service said.

Most of mainland Spain is under alert for heavy rains.

Madrid and other areas of central Spain saw heavy rains and mild flooding during the night caused by storms that produced over 9,000 lighting strikes.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.