By Humphrey Carter
A freak summer storm hit the Balearics yesterday causing widespread chaos and leaving 2'000 people without power.
In just 20 minutes, 12'9 litres of rain fell per square metre at Palma airport. Across the island, driving torrential rain and hail, up to one centimetre in diameter, caused isolated flooding. A number of vessels needed assistance at sea and the Copa del Rey sailing regatta was suspended.

Several houses were flooded in Can Pastilla, while the check-in area at Son Sant Joan airport was out of action for a short while due to serious leaks in the roof. A handful of flights were unable to land due to the intensity of the rain and high winds.

A number of minor traffic accidents were reported as drivers were caught completely unawares by the rain.
The most serious occurred near Sa Torre where a 4x4 people carrier skidded and slipped over. Fortunately none of the four occupants was seriously hurt.

The Palma met office reported that between 11am and 16.30, when the storms started to move away to Minorca, 700 bolts of lightning hit Majorca, the majority in the Soller and Felanitx area.

However, the storm left 2'000 people without power in the area of Sa Cabaneta and Portol.
The power went down at 13.23 and full power was fully restored at 16.43.
A spokesperson for Gesa Endesa said that the intensity of the storm has caused minor problems to the Balearic grid but engineers were inspecting the damage.

Further storms are expected today. See page 21


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