Torrential rains have hit Spain's Canary Islands, washing cars away and causing landslides that blocked roads on the mountainous archipelago off northwest Africa.

The Canary Islands weather service issued a weather alert for the whole region, saying Saturday it had answered more than 1,800 calls for help in the last two days. The islands' government says it's deploying the army's emergency unit to Telde, in the eastern part of Gran Canaria island.

The local government is warning residents and tourists to stay inside, avoid driving and fast-moving waters, and tell officials if nearby ravines have filled with debris.