At least two people have died and three are missing in Spain after heavy rains triggered flash floods and impacted transportation systems.

The weekend storm affected almost the whole country, with the heaviest rains recorded on Sunday in the coastal provinces of Cadiz, Tarragona and Castello, according to the State Meteorological Agency (AEMET).

Two people died in the countryside near the central city of Toledo, where AEMET registered record rainfall of 90 litres per square metre on Sunday.

In the Madrid region, police were searching for one man in the rural area of Aldea del Fresno, southwest of Madrid. Rescuers were also looking for a woman who disappeared under similar circumstances near Toledo and for an 84-year-old man who was dragged off by streams of water and mud in Villamanta, west of Madrid.

On Sunday, residents of the Madrid region received an emergency text in Spanish and English accompanied by a loud alarm urging them not to use their vehicles and stay at home due to the “extreme risk of storms”.

It was the first time the authorities had used this mobile phone alert system.

Several theatres in the capital closed early on Sunday, while a football match between Atletico Madrid and Sevilla was suspended.

On Monday, a number of metro lines also closed in Madrid during the morning rush hour due to flooding caused by heavy overnight rains, although by early afternoon only a few stations near the Manzanares River remained shut.

High-speed rail links between Madrid and the southwestern region of Andalusia and the east coast region of Valencia, which closed on Sunday, reopened on Monday although trains were running at slower speeds in some sections, railway operator Renfe said.

The heavy rainfall eased on Monday morning. AEMET lowered its alert level for the Madrid region to yellow from a maximum red alert on Sunday.

The torrential weather comes after Spain, which has endured three years of scant rainfall that has prompted some regions to impose water-use restrictions, endured an intense heatwave and persistent high temperatures in August.

Scientists warn that extreme weather marked by heatwaves and storms is becoming more intense as a result of climate change.

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