Torrential rain sparked flash floods in Navarra this past July, as the Cidacos River breached its banks, inundating the region with more than four meters of water in less than 6 hours. The deadly floodwaters affected multiple towns in northern Spain, including La Rioja, Olite, Aragon, Castille, Valencia, and Pamplona – home of the San Fermin Festival.
Canceled bull run caused by heavy flooding
The heavy downpour prompted officials to cancel the Tuesday morning bull run – an iconic part of the annual festivities in Pamplona. According to government reports, Navarra was overwhelmed with four times as much rain as had been originally forecast. Many of the region’s secondary roads were closed due to the water damage, and railways near the town of Tafalla were suspended due to the dangers.
The extreme weather transformed many motorways throughout Navarra into rushing rivers, and one man reportedly drowned when his vehicle was swept away in the flood.
Local residents of Pamplona haven’t seen weather like this in many decades – rain so heavy that it flooded the town’s Plaza del Toros. Bull ring workers attempted to clear the rising waters but were unable to keep pace, causing authorities to cancel the evening bullfight for safety reasons.
Pamplona Bull Run refunds issued
It’s been nearly 25 years since an event was canceled at the San Fermin Festival. Running of the Bulls, Inc. issued refunds to all guests who were affected by the cancellation. Fortunately, the waters receded, and the iconic traditions of the encierros continued for the rest of the 2019 fiesta.
Held since the early 16th century, the Running of the Bulls remains a popular, though highly dangerous event. Every year, hundreds of participants suffer injuries, ranging from minor to life-threatening.Pamplona bull run deaths are infrequent, but this thrill-seeking tradition has claimed 16 lives since record-keeping officially began.
If your 2019 bull run got rained out and you want to try again next year, be sure to look into the Running of the Bulls 2020 Dates and Schedule.