All Balearic emergency and security services were yesterday ordered to stand down from their week-long weather alert status. The government said early yesterday afternoon that the emergency services have been ordered to return to normal with the alert being reduced from yesterday morning's level one, to level zero. Although some isolated outbreaks of heavy rain are still expected today, there is no longer any need for concern. The CECOP operation control centre met again yesterday morning to discuss the very latest meteorological conditions and analyse the situation on the ground in the Balearics. While skies were clear yesterday, drivers are still warned to proceed with care for the next few days and to stay clear of the Deya to Valldemossa road which will remain closed to all non-local traffic today at least as engineers clear away the landslides and secure the mountain road. There is still the risk of falling trees in areas which have been hardest hit by flooding as the ground is still extremely wet and insecure. Teams of engineers, firemen, police, soldiers and council employees were deployed across the Balearics as the clean up and repair operation stepped up a gear. Minister for the Environment, Jaume Matas, who visited the disaster areas in Ibiza on Friday, yesterday toured the north of Majorca to inspect the damage. Balearic President, Francesc Antich, flew to Minorca where he said that a concerted and carefully coordinated effort is needed by all public services and local authorities in order to repair the damage as quickly as possible. As the first step in helping to cover the costs of the clean up operation, the Balearic government has made 7.800 million pesetas available and the Environment Ministry a further 2.200 million; but the total cost of the damage is expected to be in excess of 25.000 million pesetas, nearly £10 million. Antich praised the efforts of all those who have been involved in the past week's storm operation and said that the decision to cancel classes on Thursday and Friday was completely justified because the Interior Ministry wanted to reduce the movement of people to the absolute minimum in the interests of the general public's safety. All those affected ventured out yesterday to inspect the wake of the storm, but more importantly to start photographing the damage for their insurance claims. From cars to houses, boats to caravans, roofs to churches, historic buildings and roads, the hurricane winds, which reached 130 kilometres per hour at their peak, and the torrential rain showed no mercy. Ironically, when the rains first hit the region last weekend, everybody said how welcome the rain will be in the farming community. The reality is that Majorca's farmers have gone from battling a drought for five years, to watching their crops washed away. In Sa Pobla, the potato crop has all but totally disappeared. 70 per cent of the greenhouses were ripped and blown away by the winds. The olive crops in Llubi and Sa Pobla have been slaughtered. Majorca as a whole has lost 40 per cent of the olive crops over the past week. The local tourist industry lost substantial amounts of money with thousands of tourists, mainly pensioners, cancelling day trips and excursions. Shops also suffered a very quiet week with most people adhering to advice from the authorities and staying at home. The Civil Protection department still wants people to try and stay off the roads today as a precautionary measure, but it will be business as usual in the Balearics tomorrow (Monday) morning.
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