0

The post-November 2001 storm clean up operation is nearly complete with 98 per cent of the trees felled by the near hurricane force winds having been removed. Balearic Minister for the Environment, Margalida Rosselló, gave assurances yesterday that her department has retrieved thousands of trees over the past 12 months and that 90 per cent of private properties hit by the storms have been cleared. However, the Minister said that the Balearic-wide clean up operation will not be completed until the end of May next year. The Balearic government has come under fire for the length of time it has taken to repair the damage caused and clean up the debris. Opposition Partido Popular MP's yesterday urged Rossello, instead of attacking central government over its response to the Prestige oil spill, “to show more concern for issues in the Balearics.” There are still victims who are waiting for insurance companies to pay out for last Novemer's damage and many fear that unless they can complete repairs as quickly as possible, over the winter, further storms will only make things worse. Over the past 12 months, insurance companies have been bombarded with claims as the Balearics has suffered one of its wettest and windiest years on record. The north east of Majorca, in particular Puerto Pollensa was worst hit by the November storms last year and then, no sooner had the region recovered for the summer season with the beaches, roads, sea front and sewage back in order, the area suffered freak flooding at the start of September which added to the insurance claims and bills.