By Humphrey Carter
GALE force winds, torrential rain and lightning caused chaos across the Balearics yesterday, closing sea ports and leaving some areas without electricity.

The Port of Mahon, in Minorca, re-opened to traffic just after 11am after 70 kilometre-per-hour winds forced its closure at 7am disrupting ferry services and also cruise traffic.

High winds also caused problems for shipping in Majorca and Ibiza. Two crossings from Alcudia to Ciutadella were cancelled, so too was the high-speed catamaran from Palma to Barcelona. But while the wind failed to hamper operations at the Balearics' three airports, it was the torrential rain and storms which caused the most problems. The Balearic meteorological office said that the torrential rains over Palma, Calvia and Andratx peaked at 9am. In just two hours, 28 litres of rain fell per square metre in Calvia and 23 in Palma, where at 9.15, nine litres fell in just ten minutes. A bolt of lightning struck a power line in the Son Falco area of Calvia, leaving some 900 people without power in Sol de Mallorca, Casino and Cala Viñas areas for up to two hours. The Balearics will remain on storm alert until mid-day today, but the weather will continue unstable for the rest of the week, although no more torrential storms are expected. Balearic met office director Agustí Llansà said yesterday, while this time last year the temperatures were higher, this wet and windy weather is normal. Spring is a season of change, “so it's quite usual to have some nice days and some bad ones.”

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