The Rain In Spain Won’t Go Down The Drain

  • 33.8 Litres Per Square Metre Per Hour
  • Roads Impassable & Drivers Trapped
  • Drainage System Overwhelmed

j-a-rieraWe might have the best clubs in the world, great hotels, gourmet restaurants, fantastic beaches and views but if it rains heavily and intensely for even a relatively short period of time, the drainage system in Ibiza turns parts of our urban and tourist areas into flood zones. The water does not flow away as it should, drains burst and we are left with rivers of drainage water flowing down our streets and pavements and in some cases entering into the premises alongside the roads.

With more rain predicted and having been on high alert for rains and storms this week, the island has already been reduced to chaotic scenes. Different areas of the island have experienced problems including cars trapped by water in under passes with drivers needing to be rescued, main roads impassable because of water, rock slides on country roads, pedestrians walking knee high in water in parts of Ibiza Town, trees uprooted, urban and business premises flood damaged causing many to close. For several days the short tunnel leading from Puig dens Valls into Ibiza Town (pictured) was closed to traffic because it flooded so easily in the rain causing major traffic diversions.

tunnelSeveral accidents occurred in the rain with the most spectacular being a soft top Beatle which did several somersaults before landing right way up after skidding in the rain.

The fire service and police have been working constantly over days to alleviate the problems.

The rain has been spread all over the island in heavy intermittent down falls with up to 33,8, litres per square metre falling per hour in Ibiza, 17,6 litres psm falling per hour in San Carles and 16,8 litres psm in San Antonio.

Luckily some sunny dry spells have compensated for the rains and put a smile on tourist’s faces.

The Consell Island Government has announced a plan to spend 130,000€ on clearing and cleaning the natural drainage channels on the island. Whilst this will help when it rains, there is still a lot to do with the man made drainage system.



San Jose Woman Found Dead.

A 57 year old woman called “Silvia Anelise” was reported missing by her family on Sunday after her dog returned home without her. She was last seen walking her dog behind the petrol station on the outskirts of the village of Sant Josep on Saturday at around 14h. The emergency services mounted a search for Silvia, including the use of a helicopter, eventually finding her body late on Monday in the countryside near where she was last seen. Initial reports suggest that cause of death was suicide.

Drug Seizurescocaine-kilo

Guardia Agent Arrested In Drug Special Operation.

Three Spanish citizens, including a Guardia Civil Agent who works at the airport, were detained as a special police operation, using officers from Madrid, which was carried out in the early hours of the morning at the airport when a private jet landed from Switzerland carrying what is believed to be tens if not hundreds of kilos of cocaine. Details of the operation are being kept secret but it is known that the detained men were not interviewed by a judge on the island after being arrested as normally happens. Instead they were taken to Madrid for questioning and to appear before the higher courts because of the international nature of the crime.
In another special police action only just made public, the police discovered 250 kilos of Cocaine in a flat in Santa Eulalia on the 15th September which resulted in the detention of three Spanish men. Other drugs, cash and electronic equipment were also found in the flat. The case is still being kept secret with more detentions expected as this is one of the biggest drug finds ever in Ibiza with a possible street value of 12,500,000€.

Drugs Hidden In Drinks.

A 32 year old Portuguese man and a 25 year Brit have been detained after police found drugs in their possession hidden in soft drink containers. In total 60 ecstasy pills, 20 grams of cocaine, 6 grams of methamphetamine and 2 grams of ketamin, as well as 2290€ were seized when the police stopped the men in their car at a rural check point.

3 Language System in Doubt.

The future of the policy of education of youngsters in Castillian Spanish, Catalan and English throughout the Baleares, known as the TIL, is now in doubt. A court ruling has found procedural faults in the Balearic Parliament bill, passed to create this policy, and has suspended its application.

Effectively, because of the decision, schools could stop teaching in the 3 languages as of now, a choice which would apparently make lots of the teaching profession and parents happy. However, the Government is appealing the court ruling and is also urging schools to wait to change teaching policy as this years teaching program for the islands and the provision of resources has been based on teaching in the 3 languages.

The political fall out of this court ruling has been huge especially as at one point 100,000 persons had demonstrated against the TIL. The Education Minister, Joanna Maria Camps, was sacked and replaced by Núria Riera, the present spokeswoman for the Government who will keep this role and become Education Minister. A close political supporter of PP Conservative President Bauza, Núria Riera has already said that schools should continue with the TIL this year as they have been financed and resourced to teach in this way and for this academic year her department can not change things.

PP Conservative President Bauzà said that the majority achieved in the last elections gave his government the right to introduce the three language teaching system. He went on to say that, at the end of the day the three language teaching system was designed to give our youngsters the chance to get better jobs and futures by being fluent in three languages.

1000+ Fakes.

The police in San Antonio have detained a Senegalese man for having 1000+ false items and a large number of stolen goods in his possession. Including watches, computers tablets, laptops, jewellery, mobile phones, cameras, fashion accessories etc, the loot was ready for transportation off the island in a container when the police arrested the man. More detentions are expected to follow.

Talamanca Beach Problems.

After the breakage of a sewage pipe caused pollution at the Talamanca beach over a week ago, the beach was closed for several days whilst the state of the water was tested. Given the Ok early last week, the beach reopened for bathing only to closed again the next day when tests said it was still not safe. Further tests have now allowed the beach to reopen definitely and it is safe to bathe with caution. The Town Hall is investigating how the pipe broke and are requesting help from the maritime authorities to see if it was an anchor from a yacht which did the damage and also making sure the leek has nothing to do with the nearby municipal sewage plant.

James Blunt’s Beach Party.

After celebrating his wedding to Sofía Wellesley at her families home in Mallorca, the after party held by singer James Blunt at the S’Estanyol beach in the borough of Santa Eulalia on our island has caused a media stir which has led to the authorities getting involved. Social media reports by public using this small beach claimed that the preparations and party itself left them no room to enjoy a swim or the sand. The beach is public land and right of way but the authorities appear to have no record of anyone asking for permission to hold this celebration on the sand and are now investigating the complaints before possibly fining the organisers of the event.

Police Get Snake Training.

Police in Santa Eulalia have been given a pioneering course here on the island on how to handle snakes that are wild in the borough and are increasingly been sighted and reported to them by the public. Practical handling hints and safety measures were explained and demonstrated by experts to the police so that they can locate and safely catch a serpent when they get a report of a sighting. The agents were shown typical hiding places of these normally timid and relatively harmless snakes as well as where they are most likely to breed and lay eggs.

Quad Accident.

Two young British men, aged 21 and 23 years old, were injured and left unconscious after they failed to negotiate the Cala Gracio roundabout in San Antonio and crashed against a wall at 3.30am. The roundabout was on the men’s way home to Can Tomas but it is not sure if they are tourists or residents. No other vehicle was involved.

Editor. I am truly amazed we do not report deaths and serious injuries on Quad bikes every week. They are overpowered, totally unstable and hired to unqualified, inexperienced and distracted tourists to ride like maniacs.

Less Nights In Hotels.

During August, the hotels of Ibiza and Formentera had 1.773.746 overnight stays. Though a huge figure, it is in fact 8,2% less than in 2013 and, on first sight, contradicts that 8,4% more tourists stayed in hotels this year. The reason is that though there were more tourists in hotels in August 2014, the average tourist stayed only 5,8 days which is down on 2013 leading to the recorded drop in over night stays. Importantly, hotels have been able to increase their prices and charge more for overnight stays when compared to 2013 or to July this year. The overall average price was 112,3€ per night.

Parasailing Skipper Says Not At Fault. Actions Saved The Day.

As reported briefly as late news in last week’s Ibizan, a parasailing accident occurred in the bay of San Antonio last Wednesday. The accident caused considerable discussion on Social media, some of it extremely critical, and caught the attention of the print and television press. Today we had the opportunity of talking directly with skipper James Killen who presents a very different picture of what happened.

“When we took the couple out there was no sign or forecast of bad weather. It was a very calm sea with hardly any wind. We had them flying 300m up when I noticed the first very thin line of bad weather on the horizon. I said we’re getting them in now and we turned for home but before we knew it the weather was on us. It was here so quickly, in seconds.” Jimmy then when on to explain his manoeuvres in relation to the wind and drag of the parachute—all a bit too technical for this landlubber to follow—but reinforced by eyewitnesses who watched the accident unfold saying that the crew tried hard to control the situation by putting the boat face into the wind and by coming close to the shore presumably to get some shelter. Jimmy continued “it usually takes 2 minutes to get the ‘chute in, but after 15 minutes of fighting I just knew it wasn’t going to happen. A parasail line is like a fishing reel, designed with a brake to feed out if the wind is too strong to avoid it breaking. I knew I had to get the parachute collapsed, it is the most important thing to do, and the only way I could see to do it was to let it out to hit something. It was so frustrating—we had them as close in as 15meters at one point.” At this point witnesses described the couple as being “thrown around like puppets suspended around 15 metres in the air”. Conditions by this time were atrocious with intense rain and very strong winds.

Jimmy said his next step was the result of experience spanning over 30 years parasailing. “I had them lined up with the Satellite dishes and Antennae on top of the Milord hotel. I knew that the satellite dish would be the perfect way to collapse the parachute which would drop them safely onto the roof of the Milord. It was going perfectly until the last second when a very strong gust banged them against the wall and ultimately the rope did break.” Other reports stated that the rope had sheared earlier resulting in the couple being carried by wind over one building and into free air before being snagged on the Milord rooftop. Jimmy said this was not true. “These reports are rubbish. They don’t know what they are talking about. It was an unfortunate accident at sea, but accidents happen and I dealt with it the best way possible. I started parasailing in 1980 and in my time I’ve even taught Commandoes how to parasail onto landing craft. I know what I’m doing. There was nothing wrong with my equipment, everything has been checked by the marine authorities, it was a new rope only ten days ago. When I went to the (Marine Authority—sorry I forget the name of it-ed) and the Guardia they shook my hand and congratulated me. I saved their life. “

Imagen1Witnesses described the couple dangling from parasail ropes whilst the wind entangled the parasail around the structures on the hotel roof. Emergency services were soon on the scene (the second unit and the police arrived about 5 minutes after the first), and the couple began to move showing signs of life as they dangled against the wall. Hotel workers reached them within minutes cutting them free and bringing them down to the lobby to wait treatment from the emergency services. Witnesses in the overlooking apartments reported that there had been a loud bang and sparks when the parasail hit the aerials and other structures on the roof.

Official reports say that the couple suffered head and back injuries. Press reports that the couple were in intensive care are considered to be incorrect given witness statements, and way off Jimmy’s account. “He was pretty well untouched, but she had a cut on her eye. We wanted to get her to hospital to be checked over but she refused to go until she had her handbag, as it had her passport and documents in it, and the handbag was still on the boat. One of my Pals from another firm went and got her the handbag and she then agreed to go to hospital. We went along too, my girlfriend speaks German so she was helping to translate. The girl had two stitches but was otherwise fine. They left the very next day.”

Jimmy also wanted to have his say re where the blame lay. “People shouldn’t be blaming me they should be blaming the weather forecasters. This was like that Michael Fish day when he said everything was going to be fine. We always check the weather and there was no indication of possible problems. And it goes to show you just can’t believe everything you read in the papers.”

Except this one of course.