Flooding in the town area of the resort
Flooding in the town area of the resort
A resort in the popular Spanish tourist area of Alicante has been hit by a "meteotsunami" which left streets and beaches flooded and boats adrift.

Santa Pola was hit on Wednesday night by the freak weather incident, which caused tsunami-like waves to hit the coastal area.

Waves of water splashed onto land, damaging fishing fleets and flooding coastal walks.

Called a rissaga in Catalan Spanish, a meteotsunami is triggered by drastic changes in atmosphere. They are often caused by weather events such as a heatwave.

Policía Local de Santa Pola said on their social media pages: "An unexpected meteorological phenomenon has surprised us tonight, with a sudden "rise in tide" that has caused many problems for the moored fishing fleet, even causing several boats to drift.

"It has caused different damages on the coast, so we ask for patience while the competent services carry out the corresponding tasks to mitigate the consequences.

Hot weather is expected to hit Spain and nearby countries Portugal and Italy in coming days thanks to a front pushing north from the Sahara. Some forecasters are warning temperatures will hit 47C, with the heat expected to last until at least Monday.

Issuing a heat warning, a spokesperson for Spain's weather service AEMET said: "Mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands are facing a probable heatwave.

"This could lead to adverse effects on people's health and to a significant risk of forest fires.

Temperatures hit 47C in Sicily on Tuesday, close to Italy's highest ever recorded temperature of 48.5C.

Then temperatures climbed to a record-breaking 48.8 degrees in Syracuse, located on the island's south-east coast, on Wednesday, according to Sicily's Agrometeorological Information System (SIAS).

Athens previously held the record title for the hottest temperature in Europe at 48C, accepted by World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

Wildfires, similar to those that have hit Greece, Cyprus and Turkey are predicted to hit some areas.