August 3, 2021

The town of Sant Llorenc, designed to suffer a flood

The town of Sant Llorenc, designed to suffer a flood


At least nine people have died after the overflow of a torrent in Majorcan town of Sant Llorenç. The explanations to this event seem to be found in the geography of the town itself. This was stated by the head of the Department of Geography at the University of the Balearic Islands, Miquel Grimalt, who said that "the natural basin of Sant Llorenç seems designed to cause a flood ". But could the tragedy have been avoided?

"Over the years, the municipality has literally gotten inside their bed," Grimalt told IB3 News. "Climate change is not responsible for what happened, these rains are typical of the Mediterranean climate. What we have to do is learn to live with it and not ignore it ", despite the fact that for 27 years there has not been a similar torrent in Mallorca.

As for what needs to be done so that it does not happen again, Grimalt points out that the easiest thing "would be not to lose the memory." Many people did not remember the previous flood, as if it no longer existed. You have to have common sense, we trust new cars and many are worse: they weigh less and float more. A 600 was not dragged in the same way that now happens with a new one. There could also be more restrictive regulations regarding construction near channels. And that this town is not the most extreme.

On the amount of rainfall, Grimalt wanted to clarify that "The general amount of rain has not been so exceptional, the exceptional has been the momentary intensity. There are no records, but it is estimated that they could be 200 or 300 liters per square meter at times. 250 liters is a lot of water, but in Mallorca there are extremes of more than 400 liters per square meter ".

In this way, Grimalt relates that "the rain has a consequence that is a huge flow, and the bad luck is that it had rained yesterday, it rained at the head of a river resource that collects short tributaries and distributes them in fans ". In short, the increase in flow and its intensity and the bad luck of the hour in which it occurred, also contributed to increase the tragedy, which in another hour, says Grimalt "would not have been so much".

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