Flood waters rampaged through the Franco-Spanish border region Saturday,...

BILBAO, Spain -- Flood waters rampaged through the Franco-Spanish border region Saturday, uprooting trees, collapsing bridges and killing at least 33 people in both countries.

Authorities said at least 13 people were missing in the affected area and at least five people were injured. They said the floods were the worst in three decades in a region that has seen 35 such disasters since 1953.


Officials in Vizcaya, the worst hit of six Spanish provinces, said the death toll could mount as rescue workers reached dozens of towns isolated by the heavy rains that began late Thursday and contined through early Saturday.

Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez flew to Vizcaya late Saturday to survey what state and local officials called a 'real catastrophe.'

Virtually all communications and road links with the Spanish Basque country, including the provinces of Vizcaya, Guipuzcoa and parts of Alava and Navarra, remained cut Saturday.

Later in the day the storm killed one person in Burgos and five in the neighboring province of Santander.

On the French side of the border, authorities said five people were killed by the raging waters, including a Belgian tourist and a 6-year-old girl at a camp site.


One man was killed when he was trapped in a mudslide and another was swept away by water coarsing across a highway, the French officials said.

Divers found another body in the Nivelle river, where they continued their search for five other people missing in France.

In Bilbao, the provincial capital of Vizcaya, waters reached as high as 10 feet in the low-lying parts of the city and at least two buildings collapsed.

State-run Radio Nacional said five people drowned in Guernica, 13 miles east of Bilbao, and another two deaths, including that of a 2-year-old girl, were reported in Vizcaina de Basauri.

Officials said three other people died in Bilbao, three others in nearby towns and eight more in Galdacano, where a French couple, their child, and five Spaniards were reported killed.

A Spanish Civil guard was killed in Llodio.

Scores of people were evacuated from their homes in both France and Spain and dozens of towns in Vizcaya were cut off by the flood waters.

Parts of the Bouleta and La Pena bridges in Vizcaya collapsed during the height of the storm Friday, officials said.

In Guipuzcoa, where the storm hit first in Spain, there were no reported casualties although officials said the material damages were 'enormous.'


State, military and regional authorities were working to ferry food and supplies to the affected areas. Several supply convoys, however, have been unable to travel to the region because of flooded roads.

Some parts of Vizcaya received as much as 14 inches of rain. Meterologists said the weather front was caused by extremely cold temperatures high in the atmosphere.

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