Majorca remained on full weather alert last night after near gale force winds pounded the island yesterday after heavy rain and hail storms overnight. The temperatures in the early hours dropped below freezing point and small amounts of snow fell in mountain areas. The high winds wreaked a trail of havoc with Puerto Soller being particularly badly hit. A yacht which had been moored in the Bay was washed ashore and small trees were literally uprooted, such was the force of the wind. Demand for electricity continues to soar as householders try to keep warm. There has also been a run on firewood. The Palma Met Office said yesterday that it was not expecting any improvement in the weather conditions before the weekend. The odds on a white Christmas have also been slashed. Two years ago the island was bathed in snow at Christmas. The Met Office remains tight lipped saying that it is too early to make any predictions. The local government announced yesterday that more than 4'000 claims for compensation following the freak storms of November (2001) and January this year had been studied and returned. Thousands of euros have been paid out in compensation to home owners and farmers after their property was damaged by the near gale force winds. Local government officials are presently collecting hundreds of other compensation forms as a result of the floods last summer. A sizeable sum of money has been put aside to pay for storm repair work. Majorca this year has had some of the worst weather on record with gale force winds and heavy rains. Boffins say that it is all part of the climate change which is affecting the Mediterranean at the moment.