The State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) has baptized the storm as ‘Hortensia’ that will bring strong gusts of wind to the Peninsula this Friday, of more than 100 kilometers per hour, in large areas of the northwest, center and east of the peninsula. Virtually the entire territory, including the Balearic Islands, is on yellow (risk) or orange (significant risk) alert. In some cases the wind will intensify in municipalities whose trees were damaged by the abundant snowfalls left by the storm ‘Filomena’, with the consequent risk for citizens.
At the orange level (winds of more than 100 kilometers per hour) are most of Galicia, Castilla y León, and large areas of Madrid, Aragon, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura, Comunitat Valenciana, Catalunya and Murcia.
In the case of Madrid capital, where the gusts can reach between 85 and 100 kilometers per hour, so the City Council has asked “to exercise extreme caution”. As the Consistory recalled in a statement, some trees and some branches were damaged by the storm Filomena last week and could be detached, so they have asked to avoid walking through streets with large trees.
On January 12, the City Council closed the municipal parks, children’s recreational facilities and sports in the city until the inspection of the trees is carried out and the safety of the citizens can be guaranteed.
More than 50,000 specimens affected
Of the 5,000 streets with trees that Madrid has, the City Council has already acted in more than 1,600. The 3,500 specialized workers have intervened in the most critical areas: the road axes, where more than 50,000 specimens could be affected, most of them conifers and pines.
The snowfall falling for 30 consecutive hours since last January 8 has caused that some trees, which have not grown regularly under snow loads, were not adapted to withstand the extraordinary weights.
In addition to the visible damage, there are latent risks derived from the accumulation of water in hollows of the trees. With the frosts of the last days, in some of them the wedge effect may have occurred with the consequent tears, the broken branches retained in the weft of the crowns have been exposed to the action of the wind and the humidity of the soil close to the Saturation is a capsizing factor in trees whose root system is more superficial.
Hortensia is the third storm named in 2021, after ‘Filomena’ and ‘Gaetán’, since the AEMET has predicted that their conditions will lead to notices of significant risk (orange) or more, since in some specific cases they can Expect maximum wind gusts of 90 to 110 kilometers per hour, depending on the zones.