The torrent in Soller. Flooding was largely caused by torrents overflowing.


The cabinet yesterday approved a royal decree that will allow aid to be paid rapidly and effectively to those affected by the storms in December and this month: compensation will be made available to individuals as well as organisations and local authorities.

The Spanish government's spokesperson, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, said that extraordinary and centralised funding needed to be agreed because various ministries have been finding it impossible to handle claims due to competing responsibilities.

In December, various parts of the country, including the Balearics, were classified as zones severely affected by a civil protection emergency. With the passing of the decree, aid from the contingency fund will be extended to damage caused this month. The Balearics are again identified, this time for heavy damage to coastal areas and agriculture.

The decree gives flexibility in meeting compensation claims.

Earlier, the Balearic government confirmed that it had asked Madrid to declare the region a "severely affected zone", thus facilitating the granting of compensation for damage caused by flooding, gales and waves. Meanwhile, the regional government has also approved an emergency budget of 363,000 euros to repair the harbour wall in Cala Ratjada that was breached by waves.

The damage that was caused in Majorca was the result of accumulated rainfall of up to 300 litres per square metre between 18 and 24 January. This was the figure for areas where the rain was most intense, such as in the Tramuntana around Lluc. Elsewhere the rainfall was generally between 100 to 150 litres: in Minorca as well as Majorca. In Palma the figure was 103; in Mahon it was 142.

The Balearics and eastern parts of the mainland were most affected by the rain. In Valencia, for instance, the accumulated rainfall varied between 104 and 176 litres. Murcia and parts of Andalusia also experienced high rainfalls, as did Ibiza. In other regions the rainfall didn't reach normal values or was half the normal value: this was the case in parts of the Canaries.