Torrential rain and gale force winds battered the Balearics for a second day yesterday

The persistent and torrential rain caused havoc across the Balearics yesterday and the gale force winds brought back memories of the hurricane-force storms exactly one year ago. There was localised flooding in many parts yesterday. Palma was brought to a stand still under the sheer density of traffic while long tail backs crawled along the motorway with visibility reduced to just a few metres by the curtains of rain. Over night, 46 litres per square metre of rain had fallen in some areas. By the end of the day, many areas had been swamped under 30 to 50 litres per square metre. In Andratx a catamaran had to be lifted to safety after it started sinking under the high winds and heavy rain, while elsewhere fire fighters and Civil Protection agents spent the day checking buildings and responding to the public's deep concern over the 160-plus construction cranes hanging precariously over homes in Palma. Five people have been killed by cranes in Spain in the past three days and the accidents have caused near hysteria. The Balearics will remain on storm alert this morning, although many of the region's ports are hoping to open again early this afternoon. Ironically, the Balearic government announced yesterday that it is going to grant an extension to the period for people to apply for financial aid to help repair the damages caused by last November's storms.