Balearic president Francina Armengol met rescue teams yesterday. | Balearic government


The Balearic Government has taken steps to get central government to officially declare Mallorca a disaster zone in the wake of the damage caused by Storm Juliette this week.

Balearic President, Francina Armengol, made the announcement during an official visit to meet the emergency teams that continue to work in the Tramuntana Mountains, which have been the main focus of concern in recent days due to the rescue of people trapped by the snow.

However, the declaration as a catastrophe zone sought by the government would not be limited to the mountains; it would also be for other affected areas, such as Felanitx, Arta and Santanyi.

Armengol said that it is currently “impossible” to make an economic assessment of the damage, but that it is “significant”, both for private individuals and in terms of public infrastructure.

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Armengol also announced that the government will assess the forestry situation in the mountains, where there are many fallen trees, in order to draw up a specific reforestation plan similar to what was done in Banyalbufar, which was hit by a tornado in 2020.

At the moment, around fifteen environment agents are covering 64 kilometres and removing 1,705 trees. The president has indicated that “we must avoid risks for the summer”.

And Armengol called on the public not to go to the mountains, as “it is important to leave the spaces free” for the emergency teams to work. “We need them to concentrate on what they need to be doing, we shouldn’t risk anything,” she said. The president stressed that the authorities warned “from the beginning” that “this situation was coming”, but “there are people who do not pay attention” and this leads to “rescues of people for not following basic instructions”.

Armengol explained that they have first focused on “the most immediate problems, above all the rescue of isolated people”. Today there are still some people “in scattered places”; reconnaissance tasks are being carried out to check that no one is in danger in the most isolated areas and helicopters have been used to supply basic necessities to people who did not need to be rescued.

Efforts are also continuing to remove snow and fallen trees, re-establishing access to the roads - there are nine sections cut off - and restoring the electricity supply, which Endesa hopes to re-establish by the end of today, according to the president.