Hurricane force winds and torrential rain claimed the lives of two people over the weekend in Majorca with Calvia Council announcing three days of mourning after a council worker passed away in the early hours of yesterday morning. 32-year-old Vicente Chinchilla Hernández died as a result of injuries sustained while clearing away a large tree which was brought down by the high winds in Santa Ponsa on Sunday evening. Hernández was injured when a large trunk fell from the grasp of a crane being used in the operation. Earlier on Sunday a taxi driver died when a tree was blown over on to his vehicle along the Paseo Maritimo. The taxi driver's two passengers were seriously injured and taken to hospital in Palma. Yesterday afternoon, the Balearic government held an emergency meeting to assess the damage done over the weekend in Majorca and Minorca and decide what action is to be taken. At this early stage the cost of the damage has been estimated to be in the region of at least 1'000 million pesetas and the Balearic government are considering asking central government to declare the Balearics a disaster zone. Yesterday morning the winds, which at their peak on Sunday reached 151 kilometres per hour on the north east of the island, continued to batter the Balearics accompanied by heavy rains, but by the afternoon, they started to die down with the Civil Protection department ordering the emergency services to stand down from their red alert status. The lull in the weather enabled the clean up operation to start in earnest with the island's farming community already reporting that thousands of millions of pesetas worth of damage had been done, far more than the local government's estimates
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