The Balearics is back on storm alert, just six days after parts of Majorca were hit by one of the worst storms in years with torrential rain and widespread flooding. More heavy rain and storms will come as no respite for scores of British tourists evacuated from an Arenal hotel last week. Yesterday Helen MacMillan, one of the refugees evacuated to a hotel in Alcudia spoke of their ordeal last Thursday night. Helen said that she and her partner were out for a walk along the promenade at around 12.30 pm in Arenal when the storm suddenly broke. We took shelter in a doorway, but as the water rose we eventually realised we should try and get back to the hotel. We managed to wade back, all the lights had gone out along the promenade and a car floated past us on our way, she said. We got back to the hotel and could see lights on in the reception area, which was a welcome relief, but as we neared the main reception a number of guests outside said it's worse inside. Helen said that there was about 6 inches of water in reception and that only the emergency lighting was working upstairs, But we went up to our room to get out of our soaking wet clothes, she said. We then went to the main bar in the complex, but the ceiling had fallen down and there were groups of kids huddled in blankets, the ceiling had also come down in some of the rooms on the 5th and 7th floors, she said. We just tried to find blankets wherever we could and by 2am the emergency lights had failed. We were advised to return to our rooms but we refused, it was pitch black and the few that did return to get changed had to do so by the light of lighters. One man with an amputated leg was trapped on the fifth floor and a number of others were too scared to leave their room, she said yesterday. One of the guests was a fireman from the UK and Helen said that with water coming down the lift shaft and ceilings collapsing, he carried out a quick inspection and said that the building should be evacuated as it was not safe.
At that point there were about 100 people gathered in reception, including children who were crying and screaming as the rain and thunder started all over again. We were eventually told we were being evacuated and asked to pack our things. Many tried to pack in the dark with their shoes floating about their rooms.
After having to wait for coaches in the rain, around 5.20 am they were finally moved to a Palma hotel for the night which we can not fault, the staff and hotel manager were excellent, we arrived and they just handed us all keys for rooms, we managed to get some sleep, Helen said. We all came down to breakfast, some of the kids were still in their pyjamas and with no shoes on, most people had no clothes to change in to.