Worst rains in 30 years cause over 1,500 incidents
Flooded homes and shops, landslides, rock falls, uprooted trees and overflowing rivers – these were just some of the problems emergency services have been battling across the island after the heaviest rainfall for decades. Numerous roads were still closed the day after the storm on Monday and traffic was paralysed with hundreds of drivers being caught out in the storms.
In the Can Gallard urbanization 30 families had to be rescued due to flooding. The worst affected areas are Palma and Calvia, as well as areas around the Serra de Tramuntana, Andratx, Sant Elm, Puigpunyent, Estellencs, Esporles, Escora, Bunyola, Alaró and Stanwell.
By Monday afternoon emergency services had received reports of 1,500 incidents, 500 of which needed emergency attention, with a total of 2,600 calls being made to 112. Hundreds of police officers and troops were mobilized to help alleviate the situation, with many working all night. A dozen roads were buried by landslides, hampering rescue efforts.
An incredible 250 litres of rain per square metre fell in mountainous areas, causing streams and rivers to turn into raging torrents. Not since 1944 has such a volume been recorded. Widespread destruction, however, was avoided as the torrent alleviation system of floodgates and emergency water storage functioned well, according to Environment Minister Miquel Angel Grimalt. One unexpected benefit of this system is that water diverted into underground aquifers means they are now at 70 percent capacity – the highest level in 15 years. (JH)