Devastation in Sant Llorenç in October 2018. | Alejandro Sepúlveda


The Balearic minister for public function, Mercedes Garrido, explained on Wednesday that there is to be a pre-emergency phase due to flood risk from August 15 to November 30.

Garrido was appearing before the Balearic parliament's institutional affairs committee to report on the revised Inunbal plan for combating flood risk. This plan, she noted, "prepares us for extreme flood episodes". "But are we one hundred per cent prepared? Never." In this regard, the minister recalled the Sant Llorenç tragedy of October 2018 and pointed out that the vulnerability of the Balearic Islands is greater than that of places on the east coast of the mainland.

Saying that the pre-emergency phase can be activated at other times of the year due to unforeseen events, Garrido observed that the current Inunbal plan has been in place since 2005. The revised version will involve updating operational procedures to take account of experience in recent years.

For the first time, it will factor in climate change and its consequences. New flood zones are being added to risk maps, and the pre-emergency phase is being brought forward to August 15, as "incidents are foreseeable".

Work is being done on an early warning system for the public via phones. The plan is to stipulate a regulatory deployment for coordination to reduce risks and help town halls in dealing with flood risk situations. It proposes urban planning prevention and risk-reduction measures in areas classified as flood-prone.