The Civil protection department stumped up its storm alert in the Balearics yesterday with some parts of the island due to be hit by 120 kilometre per hour winds this morning. Yesterday sea crossings were disrupted for the second day. Although some crossings to the mainland did set sail as ferry companies tried to make the most of the improvement in the weather yesterday afternoon. Winds averaging 80 to 90 kmph will sweep across the region today, but the north of Majorca can expect to feel the full force of the storm. The advice yesterday was quite simply stay away from the mountains or high grounds, and cancel all hiking trips while trying to avoid driving if possible. The sea will remain rough with waves reaching three metres. All shipping has been advised to remain in port and keep a regular and close watch on the weather reports. The Balearics is one of the regions on alert as the storm which devastated Tenerife moves its way across the country with similar force. Torrential rain is also forecast for today with rainfall of 30 litres per square metre expected to swamp some parts of the island. Over the past 36 hours there has been localised flooding in the Balearics. A number of low-lying country roads are under water and streams and rivers are rising, easily bursting their banks. All of the emergency services are on full alert and the Civil Protection department yesterday repeated its advice to people about making sure that all windows and doors are closed, items on balconies and terraces are well secured and to stay away from the coast, trees and walls. Common sense is the order of the day, especially for drivers in the Balearics as strong gusts of force eight will pose a danger to drivers, especially those of high vehicles. The authorities have also warned home owners living near sea level close to the coast to beware of the sea flooding basements and the strong winds causing more damage to structures weakened by the hurricane winds last November. There is concern that areas seriously damaged last November will not be able to escape this next wave of gale force winds.


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