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Police search for three missing people in deadly Spain floods, trains resume

Aftermath of heavy rain in central Spain

MADRID (Reuters) - Police and rescue services searched on Tuesday for three people missing after devastating floods hit central Spain as trains to the south resumed after thousands of passengers were left stranded.

The torrential downpour that swept over large swathes of Spain on Sunday and Monday, caused by a so-called cut-off low phenomenon, left three people dead and wreaked havoc on transport infrastructure, shutting roads, subway lines and high-speed train connections. The heaviest damage was in the provinces of Toledo and Madrid in the country's centre.

Local authorities, the army's emergency response corps, firefighters and law enforcement officers were working to "guarantee the stability of a key pipeline in the system supplying water to more than 270,000 people in the south of Madrid and Toledo", Environment Minister Teresa Ribera told reporters.

Ribera was speaking from the town of Aldea del Fresno, southwest of Madrid, which was devastated by the flooding of the Alberche River.

A middle-aged man went missing there with his son when their car was dragged into the overflowing river on Sunday night after an avalanche caused by a sudden rush. The minor was found alive after spending the night clinging to a tree he had climbed, but rescuers were still searching for his father, emergency services said.

The other two missing people, in Toledo province, were a 54-year-old woman whose vehicle was swept away while driving along a flooded road and an 83-year-old man who was dragged into the strong currents near his home, police said.

Railway infrastructure manager Adif said high-speed rail traffic between Madrid and the southern region of Andalusia had resumed on Monday morning after overnight repairs to damage caused by the storm.

The train connection between Madrid and Toledo, 70 kilometres (45 miles) south, remained closed.

Rail operator Renfe said that 50,000 passengers had changed their train tickets free of charge since Sunday morning.

(Reporting by David Latona and Emma Pinedo; Editing by Inti Landauro and Ed Osmond)