Flash floods that struck south-eastern Spain have claimed the lives of at least five people.

Torrential rain caused chaos on roads and public transport with two airports in Murcia and Almeria closing down, leaving travellers stranded.

Several railway lines and many schools in the region were shut down by the adverse weather conditions.

MoreSpanish authorities issue ‘extreme risk’ weather warning

Thousands of police, fire-fighters and soldiers have been deployed in a rescue operation, some in boats and helicopters.

As many as 3,500 people were evacuated as rivers burst their banks as some areas of Valencia, Murcia and eastern Andalucía saw the heaviest rainfall on record.

Vehicles were swept away by rushing flood-waters, causing at least three deaths.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in an updated travel advisory: “Spain’s meteorological office (AEMET) has issued an ‘extreme risk’ weather warning for the regions of Valencia, Alicante, Murcia, Almeria and Balearic Islands due to torrential rain.

“Flash floods are causing road closures and serious disruption to transport services.

“If you are in these areas you should exercise extreme caution and follow the advice of the local authorities.”

One man was reportedly killed after getting stuck inside a flooded motorway tunnel.

Another was found dead in the village of Redovan in Valencia after leaving his home on foot earlier on Friday, according to Reuters.

MoreSpanish authorities issue ‘extreme risk’ weather warning