By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
JUST as we were getting used to the lovely Spring weather and the pending arrival of summer, the weather took a turn for the worse yesterday and no real improvement can be expected until the weekend.

Torrential outbreaks of rain thundered down on many parts of the Balearics yesterday catching scores of unsuspecting tourists by surprise in Palma.
The North of Majorca, in particular the Serra de Tramuntana, is on level two orange alert for 100 mililitres of rainfall in one hour and gale force winds peaking at 80 kilometres per hour until this morning while the rest of the island is on level one yellow alert and may escape with 20 mililitres of rain per square metre.

What is more, over night temperatures are going to fall, according to the met. office and snow is forecast above 1'300 metres in Majorca for the next two days. However, conditions will begin to dry out from Thursday and come the weekend, the probability of rain, for the time being, is very low, around 20 percent, with temperatures forecast to return to the norm for this time of year.

But, yesterday's rain caused complete chaos in Palma with many of the main roads flooded bringing traffic to a standstill during rush hour and sparking a number of minor accidents.

The police confirmed that no one was injured.
The Palma fire brigade also had to respond to a series of property flooding, especially in the areas of El Molinar, Gomila and the Playa de Palma.
Fire brigade and 061 emergency sources said that the rain fall was so intense that it burst a series of drains in the city leading to road closures while the incidents were dealt with and the burst drains capped.

One of the worst incidents was the collapse of a wall in the basement of the Hotel Mar Menor in Can Castilla, but again, no one was hurt and fire fighters spent much of the day pumping water out of the basement. Outside of Palma, scores of rural roads were flooded and in Can Picafort, part of an exterior wall at the Hotel Gran Vista collapsed damaging a number of cars. The region's emergency unit was closely monitoring the situation with all of the emergency services on full alert with the bad weather forecast to continue today.