A member of the fire service observing the torrent in Soller, which is dangerously high.

21-12-2016

Rain has continued to fall in areas of Majorca today, notably in the Tramuntana, where an amber alert has been in place; in the north and northeast of the island there has been a yellow alert. At sea and in coastal areas there were also amber alerts, with waves of up to seven metres off the north coast. There had been, for a time since Monday, a maximum risk red alert out at sea.

Two roads remain closed, these being the MA-3433 (between Playa de Muro and Sa Pobla, running by the side of the Albufera park) and the road connecting Montuiri with the Algaida-Sant Joan carretera. The MA-1101 between Puigpunyent and Esporles has now reopened. Access to the Fonts Ufanes springs in Campanet has also been closed temporarily.

Three areas are of principal concern for flood risk: these are Albufera (Muro/Sa Pobla), Campos (where there has of course been flooding) and Soller.

Environment and agriculture minister Vicenç Vidal says that these three areas are being monitored constantly in order to check on the capacities of the torrent streams. Vidal notes that the rain has been good news for agriculture but that it is too soon to speak of an end to drought conditions. The news isn't all good in that the heavy rain has caused some damage, but in general terms the rain has come as a relief to farmers.

Despite Vidal's caution, the Emaya municipal services agency in Palma reports that there have been dramatic improvements to the conditions of the Cuber and Gorg Blau reservoirs in the Tramuntana. Reserves have doubled since Friday.

In Soller the torrent is close to its limit, but Vidal points out that work has been done to improve the torrent and so prevent risk situations. The government has, meanwhile, come in for some criticism for apparently having ignored requests for attention to be paid to torrents in Campos. Vidal insists that 1.5 million euros have been spent on torrent maintenance this year and that the budget for this is set to rise to 3.8 million in 2017.

The primary school in Fornalutx, where there were safety concerns because of the volume of water, has been closed all day. Although other schools had reopened, the education ministry was forced to suspend afternoon classes at schools in several other Tramuntana municipalities, Soller and Valldemossa among them.

Wind, which has been hitting speeds of up to 90kph in the north of the island today, is expected to abate tomorrow. The general outlook up to and including Christmas Day is for much better weather.

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