By Humphrey Carter THE third heaviest snowfall of the past century caused chaos in Majorca yesterday afternoon with the driving and persistent snow forcing at least two schools to close up early for the day, trapping vehicles in the mountains and causing serious problems on the roads.

The Balearic Minister for Education announced last night that all school transport services have been suspended in rural Majorca today. Minorca is fearing more snow overnight and black ice this morning.

Schools and colleges will remain open, however, for pupils who do not need school transport to get to class.
A suspension was also put on heavy goods vehicles and coaches. That came into effect at 3am and will remain in place until further notice in order to reduce the risks and dangers on the roads. Some maritime links between the islands remained suspended while others were heavily delayed and Minorca airport was closed for part of the day (see page 18).

In Majorca, 25 centimetres of snow fell in Lluc and, as a result, the Lluc to ses Barques lookout, Bunyola-Alaró, Esglaieta-Valldemossa, Randa-Cura, Calviá-Puigpunyent and Calviá-Palma (Coll de Sa Creu) stretches of road were closed.

Emergency teams were called out to clear the Alaró-Orient, Muro-Sineu, Llubí-Santa Maria, Inca-Lluc, Pollensa-Lluc and Pollensa-Alcudia roads.
The latter, along with a number of streets in the Port of Pollensa, suffered severe flooding on Tuesday night.
The 112 emergency services yesterday doubled its resources and manpower as the region remained on category one weather alert.
However, no serious incidents were reported.
A lorry and a coach got trapped by the snow along the Valldemossa to Palma road causing a 30-car rush hour tail back.
The Guardia Civil said that both vehicles had problems getting a grip on the fresh snow and eventually got stuck.
The coach passengers were transferred to another bus and the two vehicles were eventually cleared off the road by mid-day.
Local Police said that there were more problems in Valldemossa because of black ice but yesterday there was plenty of salt being put down after Monday's complaints from local residents.

The temperature in a number of places dropped below freezing yesterday.
The lowest was in Alfabia again where it fell to -7.8ºC.
Balearic president Jaume Matas said yesterday that the government is doing “everything it can” to deal with the weather which has not been this bad in the Balearics since 1985. “We have the situation under control,” Matas said yesterday. “Should the situation worsen, we are prepared to take the necessary steps to ensure the maximum safety of the public, that's our primary concern.” However, yesterday afternoon was apparently the worst of this present polar front - although some weather reports claim that a second wave will hit the island early next week after a dry but very cold weekend. The Social Services announced yesterday that all of its 400-plus beds in the capital's shelters for the homeless were not occupied but its mobile units were still working round-the-clock to care for the 30 or so people still sleeping on the streets. While the power company yesterday said that electricity consumption reached a record high on Tuesday afternoon, the UGT General Workers's Union has complained about the lack of central heating in Son Dureta hospital.

One model in Valldemossa, pictured, decide to bare all despite the weather conditions which bought a cheer from passing motorists.