Kiwi in Barcelona tells of van driver terror

A New Zealander at the scene of a horrific terror attack in Barcelona that killed at least 13 people and injured dozens more has spoken about the disturbing aftermath.

The attack saw a man drive a truck into a group of pedestrians, leaving as many as 80 people hospitalised on top of the 13 who died.

Nick Bartlett told The AM Show he was in a taxi when he first became aware of what had happened.

"We saw loads of people running - we were in a taxi, heading towards the southern part of Las Ramblas, at the base of it from the beach," Mr Bartlett explained.

"It was all good - and then we went around the corner and saw 200 or 300 people charging out of the way."

Mr Bartlett said he didn't see the van but could tell the nature of the incident just by looking at their faces, a sight he said was "particularly terrifying" because they could see the fear of those running away.

"We escalated out of there pretty quickly, and moved back to our hotel," he said.

"We came back to find out actually what had happened, because we had a feeling it was something pretty bad but we weren't quite sure.

"We spent all morning down at [Las Ramblas] so it's a pretty surreal situation to be in."

Mr Bartlett said the whole city had been evacuated, with people urged to get off the streets and inside their homes - but he added that even if they could go out, they probably wouldn't want to.

"The mood's pretty sombre - there's lots of helicopters flying through the sky, and we're just trying to stay nice and safe here," he said.

"I've just had a stiff gin-and-tonic and that'll be about us tonight, I think."