Civil Defence was on red alert last night after the island was hit by near gale force winds which wreaked havoc. The temperatures also fell considerably and snow could fall today in mountain areas. A Met Office spokesperson said that winds of up to 126 kilometres an hour had hit Alfabia (a mountain area in the centre of the island) and almost 110 kilometres an hour at the lighthouse in Capdepera. Winds of up to 73 kilometres an hour were registered in Puerto Pollensa and 63kmh in Palma. The winds caused some damage and the fire brigade received countless calls to remove debris from roads and pavements. The ports of Mahon in Minorca and Ibiza were closed as a result of the weather conditions. Civil Defence said yesterday that they did not expect any major improvement in the weather until Monday. For today, gale force winds are forecast again and the temperatures will drop. The Gas and Electricity Board GESA is expecting a surge in demand for power as householders battle to keep warm. It has already gone down in history as one of the coldest starts to the year on record.

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