Days of heavy rains triggered flooding on the Iberian Peninsula on Thursday, killing at least 24 people in Spain and Portugal and leaving many towns without electricity and telephone service.
In Portugal, the Guadiana River that forms part of the border with Spain overflowed, collapsing houses in the town of Pomeral. Eleven people were killed in five towns - none in Pomeral - in eastern Portugal's Alentejo region.Rescue and medical teams, including army soldiers from across Portugal were dispatched by helicopter to the Alentejo region.
Across the border, at least 14 people drowned, including 11 in the Spanish city of Badajoz, authorities said. Badajoz also lies along the Guadiana River, 90 miles north of Pomeral.
Floodwaters rose so high - up to 10 feet - in the nearby Spanish town of Valverde de Leganes that two women drowned in a house and one woman drowned in the town square, National Radio reported, citing the Interior Ministry.
A communications station that services the worst-hit area in western Spain - the Extremadura region - was flooded early Thursday, knocking out telephone service.
Rescue workers in dinghies evacuated people from flooded homes in Extremadura, the national news agency EFE said.
Train service to Extremadura was halted Thursday. Other rail lines linking the southern city of Cordoba with Seville and Malaga were also cut off by floods, said Carlos Sanchez, a spokesman for Spain's rail company RENFE.
Train service to the Alentejo region was also stopped because of the weather.