By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
BY yesterday afternoon, the gale forces winds which battered the Balearics all weekend, began to ease, especially in Majorca and Ibiza.
However, yesterday morning, gale force six and seven winds caused chaos to shipping with ports in Minorca closed and further disruption can be expected today with the north east of Majorca and Minorca on level 1 and 2 gale force wind alerts respectively with waves of up to four metres expected in the channel between the two islands.

The 112 emergency centre responded to 38 incidents over the weekend, the most serious being in Algaida where a bouncy castle was flipped over by a sudden gust of wind injuring three young children during a charity sports day sponsored by the Council of Majorca.

The five, nine and two-year-old were all taken to clinics and hospitals in Palma.
The three were recovering from their minor injuries yesterday and the Guardia Civil has opened in investigation into the accident.

HIKERS RESCUED
According to the 112 centre, the gales caused the most damage on Sunday with incidents responded to all over the islands as winds peaked at over 120 kilometres per hour in the north and north east of Majorca and Minorca.

In the Port of Andratx, for example, fire fighters were forced to remove a series of street lamps for public safety reasons and in Escorca, two hikers had to be rescued and the winds brought a wall down in Llucmajor.

The majority of the call outs were in Palma.
Fire fighters and emergency teams responded to 20 incidents in the capital where a number of trees were felled by the gales and alarms raised over properties.

In Minorca, hundreds of Sunday ferry passengers were either forced to switch routes or accept a refund and catch the next operating ferry after the ports of Mahon and Ciutadella were closed for the entire day.

The north westerly winds are going to gradually die down over the next few days with the gale warnings being lifted tonight.

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