Spain’s Balearic Islands poised for radical overhaul in management of floods after exponential increase in rainfall

THE Balearic Islands are planning to make radical changes to the way in which they manage floods after being warned of an exponential increase in rainfall.

This month, the Special Planing Unit for Flooding (Inunbal) sent a stark report to the Balearic government, warning that flood episodes would remain a constant threat in the foreseeable future for the region.

This pushed ministers to act, with equality minister, Mercedes Garrido, revealing that the management system of this natural disaster would be overhauled after being in place without modification for 15 years.

Garrido explained that climate change was largely to blame, bringing torrential rain and thus exacerbating extreme flood events. 

Preventative research will first be made to identify the areas most at risk of personal, property and environmental damage as a result of floods.

Although still to be approved, measures are set to include a huge upgrade of the 25-year-old emergency management software.

Drones will also be used in the event of a flood with a cartographic viewer also being at the disposal of the emergency services, which will also increase their workforce to include employees dedicated to this type of disaster.

Moreover, the government will work closely with the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB) to develop an early warning system that will use data from sensors to measure water levels at strategic points to forecast a potential flood event.

It comes as the third anniversary of Mallorca’s devastating floods nears which resulted in the death of 13 people and the search for victims lasting several days.

It also caused considerable structural damage to hundreds of homes, with the most affected village being Sant Llorenc des Cardassar, a municipality of approximately 8,000 inhabitants.

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