Palma.—Today and tomorrow are going to be the harshest of this polar cold snap which the Met. office said yesterday is the fourth coldest since 1950.

The region is on alert for snow, high seas with waves of up to five metres, and gale force winds for the next 48 hours, although no great improvement is forecast until early next week.

Yesterday evening up to five centimetres of snow was expected to fall in the Tramuntana mountains with the snow line dropping from 400 metres to 100 metres.

Main concern
But the other main concern was the wind with gusts of 80 kilometres per hour forecast while gales of force seven and eight caused chaos to shipping yesterday and most ports will remain closed today.

It is the Balearics which is getting the worst of the gales, according to the Met. office and therefore the wind chill factor is something we are all being urged to take into account because today and tomorrow, it is going to feel much colder than it actually is because of the fierce and piercing north, north easterly winds.

Yesterday, central government ordered all of its delegations in the autonomous regions, such as the Balearics, to activate the special winter emergency plan because of the forecasted heavy snowfalls and freezing temperatures.

This means that apart from all of the emergency, security, medical and social services being on stand by, so too is the military's emergency units.
The Council of Majorca has also taken action and stepped up its care and attention of the elderly in its residential homes.
In some homes, extra staff have been taken on temporarily to help alleviate the affects of the big freeze. The Majorcan Social Services have also declared a level 2 emergency for the homeless.

According to the Red Cross and the Social Services' emergency unit, there are at least 172 people living and sleeping on the streets of Majorca, the vast majority in Palma, and they need looking after. The homeless
The emergency units have spent the past day trying to locate as many homeless people as possible to try and encourage them to head to one of the city's shelters which have been ordered to take people in, even if they are full.

Everybody else, especially drivers, is advised to use common sense until the cold snap passes and keep warm.