Low temperatures, rain and gale force wind,
unlikely weather for Ibiza but a sure sign that winter has
Most of mainland Spain and the Balearic
Isles are suffering extreme weather conditions, some places
registering the strongest wind on record.
The Instituto Nacional de Meteorología
(National Meteorological Institute) announced the arrival
of the cold weather on Friday 9th November: "A band of
bad weather from the north is going to affect the whole of
Spain, except the Canary Isles, during the next week"
and they were right.
Temperatures dropped six degrees on Friday
9th November, decreasing from 22 degrees centigrade on Thursday
8th to 16°C.
The winds gusting up to 140 kilometres per
hour were definitely everyone's main fear as the Dirección
General de Protección Civil (General Management of
civil Protection) warned Ibiza residents to stay indoors,
close all the windows, remove all objects from balconies that
could be carried off by the wind and, finally, not to walk
near the coastline.
Also forecast was the possibility of snow
above 400 metres. Considering that some of Ibiza's highest
points are over 500 metres high, a lot of the locals prepared
for snow, which fortunately for some, never arrived.
Weather conditions had improved slightly
by Saturday 10th November with maximum temperatures of 12°C
and winds reaching 120 kilometres per hour.
The fire brigade and the police department
were kept busy clearing fallen trees, electric and telephone
cables and other debris caused by the wind.
One of the main problems was the multiple
road accidents as a result of slippery roads caused by the
heavy rain, which in some areas of Ibiza registered 28 litres
per square metre.
One of the local firemen said: "Even
though we have answered more than a hundred emergency calls
in 24 hours, none of the damage has been serious.
Fallen trees and broken windows and window
frames seems to be the main problem".
In more serious cases, roads in Port des
Torrent had to be closed because rocks, sand and pieces of
wood blowing off the beach were endangering drivers' safety.
Salvamento Marítimo (Marine Rescue
Service) participated in a rescue operation on Saturday 10th
November when Star Sailor' yacht lost control during
the bad weather. Salvamento Marítimo rescued the four
Germans who were on board and got them back to land safely.
One of the rescuers said: "It was a
difficult operation but everything turned out well. But a
lot of boats were destroyed or lost in the storm."
Over the weekend (Saturday 10th and Sunday
11th November) the Balearic Islands emergency service 112
registered 11,000 emergency calls, 142 of these calls coming
The fire brigade service has been on full
alert all weekend, answering all types of emergency calls.
One fireman even said: "We have never had to work so
One of my companions hasn't slept in two
nights while another fireman has been trapped on Formentera
for days." The local boat service between Ibiza and neighbouring
island Formentera was cancelled.
Ibiza and Formentera have been totally isolated
from mainland Spain via sea as leading ferry companies Trasmediterranea
and Balearia cancelled all services connecting Ibiza to main
ports such as Valencia, Denia and Barcelona.
One of the captains of the Ibiza-Formentera
ferries said: "You would have to be mad to try and leave
the port in this weather.
"This is definitely the strongest wind
in Ibiza since 1980."
A spokesperson for AENA (local airport)
said: "The airport has functioned with complete normality
and none of our flights have been affected by the severe weather
Meanwhile, electrical company Gesa has assured
all their clients that despite some minor problems, the loss
of electric only affected 0.2% of their clients.
The Instituto Nacional de Meteorología
has predicted more rain and winds up to 140 kilometres per
hour for this weekend.
Schools remained closed on Thursday 15th
November throughout the Balearic Isles and all local authorities
advised Ibiza residents to stay at home in a bid to avoid
any possible tragedies.
Instead of remaining indoors feeling happy or sad about the
unusual weather, some people are taking advantage of the wind.
On the morning of Saturday 10th November,
a small group of people gathered on Playa den Bossa beach
to enjoy the seven metre high waves and practice their favourite
The local windsurfs were definitely amazed
by this unique experience of enjoying such high waves on the
Peter Whaley, a resident on the island with
more than 30 years experience of windsurfing, said: "These
are not the best conditions for windsurfing but we are enjoying
the experience all the same".
It's nice to see that someone is finding
a use for all the bad weather.
It was not just the windsurfs who braved the bad weather on
Saturday 10th November.
The I Salón Interprofesional'
Pasarela Tendencias 2001 (I Professional Fashion Show 2001)
got off to a successful start.
Despite the weather, the Vara de Rey in
Ibiza Town was turned in to a temporary catwalk on Saturday
evening when 20 models presented the latest fashions for 2002.
The aim of the fashion show, which was sponsored
by 53 local businesses and organized by Pimeef (Small and
Medium Businesses Organization), was to display the latest
hair styles and wedding bouquets, as well as fashion.
The wedding dresses by designers Ketty,
Carol and Elegancia were the stars of the show.
Bouquets of flowers and a wedding cake shared
by 600 attendants at the end of the show gave the fashion
an original touch.
As well as local designs from Ibicencan
businesses, the latest fashion collection from clothes designers
such as Vivian Westwood, Hugo Boss, Atelier and Roberto Cavalli,
among others, were also one of the shows features.
The fashion show presenter, model Salvador
Guerrero, concluded the night saying: "This is a great
opportunity to see the range of quality products that can
be found in the shops in Ibiza, which may have gone unnoticed
World Travel Market
Two people who have missed out on the bad weather are the
councillors of Tourism from the Consell Insular (Island Council),
Josep Marí Ribas, and from the Govern Balear (Balearic
Government), Celestí Alomar who both travelled to London
The aim of their trip was to attend the
World Travel Market on Monday 12th November where they discussed
the situation of the tourist industry with the executive director
of the British Tourist Authority Jeff Hambling and the Minister
of Tourism Kim Howells.
This comes after the Instituto Balear de
Turismo (Balearic Institute of Tourism) released a survey
in which they declared that tourism in Ibiza will remain the
same even after the 11th September tragedies.
According to the Instituto Balear de Turismo,
the drop in figures in comparison to 2001 reservations is
down to the fact that British people don't reserve their holidays
until the last minute so that they benefit from special offers.
They also added that if the 11th September
tragedies were going to affect Ibicencan tourism, which they
find very unlikely, it would only affect families who may
be frightened to fly with children".
New Management System For Can Misses
The Servei Balear de Salut (Balearic Health
Service) held a meeting on Thursday 8th November in a bid
to reach an agreement on the type of management system to
be used to control Can Misses hospital and all other public
medical centres in Ibiza and Formentera.
The three-hour meeting gathered representatives
of the Balearic Health Service, directors of Insalud (management
of Can Misses hospital at present) and a group of 15 doctors,
who discussed what type of modifications needed to be made
to the hospital's management system.
At present, the management of the general
physicians is separated from that of specialized doctors,
resulting in problems at times of making important decisions.
"Once the hospital's management is
united the problems should disappear. We want each sector
to maintain it's independence but at the same time share common
views", according to Juli Fuster, manager of the Balearic
Health Service, who considers that a united management is
the best solution to all the problems.
Some benefits of the new system would be
the improvement of health care as well as stabilizing doctors'
Juli Fuster added: "Our idea is to
create a system open to the opinions of different doctors
as it is the doctors who have to live and work with our decisions".
"They know more about the reality of
hospital life than we ever will, that is why it is so important
to us that they back our decisions".
Some other problems that were also discussed
at the meeting was the need to finish the repairs that were
started to Can Misses hospital last winter. A new medical
centre for Santa Eulalia, a specialized centre in Formentera
and two new public health centres for Ibiza Town are also
on the list of priorities.
The need for more general physicians and
specialized doctors was also discussed.
The manager of the Balearic Health Service
says: "These are the basic problems that need to be solved
as soon as possible".
Another two meetings will be held before
the two management systems unite.
The first of these meetings will be held
to discuss economic matters.
The Balearic Health Service estimates the
hospital's expenses for 2002 at 5,800 million pesetas of which
1,300 million pesetas will be spent on wages, 3,500 million
pesetas on general hospital expenses and a further 1,000 million
pesetas on investments.
The hospital management will also require
an undisclosed annual amount to finish the pending construction
After this, a further meeting will be held
to finalize the decisions over the new management system.