The Government and Sant Llorenç Town Council work on measures to prevent and deal with possible flood risks

Aug 4, 2022 | Current affairs, Featured, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

The Minister of the Presidency, Public Function and Equality, Mercedes Garrido, and the Director General of Emergencies and the Interior, Jaume Barceló, have held a working meeting with the Mayor of Sant Llorenç, Pep Jaume, and the rest of the municipal corporation, to jointly work on measures and actions to prevent and combat a possible risk of flooding.

TDB keeps you informed. Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Specifically, the new special flood risk plan, INUNBAL, approved at the beginning of the year, establishes that the municipalities of the Balearic Islands must be helped to face situations of risk caused by flooding, and therefore provides for the implementation of municipal flood risk plans, to establish a response organisation specific to each town and integrate it into the response at the regional level, as well as to carry out preventive actions.

According to the councillor, the plan is “one of the most modern in Spain and is adapted to climate change and its consequences”. In this sense, Garrido warned that the fact that the sea has reached 30 degrees in the area of Sa Dragonera, for example, has led the government to increase precautions because if there are high pressures of cold air, episodes of torrential rains may occur.

For this reason, on 15 August the INUNBAL pre-emergency phase is expected to be activated, which establishes a series of basins that are priorities for action. The priority basin is that of Sant Llorenç, although the government is planning specific actions to be carried out this winter in the 38 high-risk basins established in the flood plain.

Thus, the meeting served to initiate the special plan with the Sant Llorenç basin, with a series of weather stations installed in the torrent and measuring the water it can absorb, which will enable an early warning in the event of an increase in the level of rainfall. This will result in an increase in the alert activated in the area of the municipality and the activation of a series of measures that will allow time to react and warn the population.

In parallel to this special plan for Sant Llorenç, the town council will draw up a specific communication plan to warn the population in the event of any alert being activated.

Special emphasis will also be placed on prevention, through risk reduction in areas identified as flood-prone, for example, through land use and urban planning, bearing in mind that the first alternative must always be to avoid urban development in flood-prone areas. In case this is already foreseen, the priority must be the design of buildings, the location of the building within the plot and the fact of avoiding that the floors of buildings where flooding is tolerated are not habitable and do not contain important assets.

All in all, the councillor recalled that “everything that we had committed to do and to review after the floods of Sant Llorenç in 2018 from the Govern, has been done. The most important part of these improvements has been the first update of the INUNBAL in fifteen years, but also the increase in the number of emergency workers; the change of the emergency management software, which was more than 25 years old; the review, adaptation and modernisation of equipment and technological platforms; the management of data and communications; the implementation of the UIB’s network of hydrometric stations, managed by the MEDHYCON search group, as an early warning system; and the management of emergencies in the face of flood risks in the Balearic Islands and the cartographic viewer, in which each town council can see the areas that may flood”.

For his part, the mayor of Sant Llorenç, Pep Jaume, stressed the importance of “joining forces in an autumn that is expected to be complicated by a large amount of warm air and the evaporation of seawater, which can cause complicated episodes of rain”.