By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
TWO Chinook helicopters carrying 50 members of the Spanish Army's emergency brigade landed in Palma yesterday afternoon and a further 70 soldiers were on standby for immediate deployment to the island to help get Majorca back to normal after the island was lashed by the heaviest rains for 30 years on Monday night and yesterday morning.

The emergency services responded to over 2'000 incidents all across the island with a number of families trapped by the flood waters airlifted to safety by helicopter in Sa Pobla, Andratx and the Sierra Tramuntana while 150 people were evacuated from their homes in the Palma suburb of Son Ferriol, near the new Son Llatzer hospital which itself was surrounded by a lake of flood water yesterday afternoon.

Up in the mountains it was not just the torrential rains and gale force winds which caused problems, the heavy snow also complicated the situation.
Be it snow, black ice, landslides, fallen trees or flooding, dozens of roads were closed and parts of the main Palma to Manacor road were shut because of flooding as rivers across Majorca broke their banks.

The village of Puigpunyent, just 15 minutes from the capital and where a tourist was swept to her death by flood waters in the hurricane storm of last year, was cut off yesterday morning as the river burst its banks again flooding hundreds of houses.

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