civil protection

Spanish Parliament approves law allowing Rajoy to take control of Catalan police "to defend Spain"

July 22, 2015 08:02 PM | ACN

The Spanish Parliament has approved a bill through which the Spanish Government can take control of the Mossos d'Esquadra (Catalonia's police corps managed by the Catalan Executive), in order "to defend Spain" or in the event of a natural disaster. The Spanish Government has justified the measure by stressing the need to enhance coordination in a crisis situation, putting several security corps under the same command. However, the law also comes in the middle of Catalonia's debate on independence from Spain and with several voices in Madrid, including leading members of the Spanish Government, talking about the possibility of suspending Catalonia's autonomy in the event of a unilateral declaration of independence. The Catalan Government will take the new law to the Constitutional Court, as it is an invasion of its own powers.

Concern in the Ebro Delta over a series of small earthquakes allegedly due to a gas offshore platform

October 4, 2013 09:57 PM | ACN

A series of earthquakes measuring between 2 and 4.2 on the Richter scale have been affecting the coast of southernmost Catalonia and northernmost Valencia in the last few weeks but particularly since last weekend. All the evidence suggests that the Castor offshore gas reservoir is behind the earthquakes. In 2009, the Spanish Government approved the building of an underground gas reservoir located under the sea bed, some 20 kilometres offshore from the Ebro Delta and Vinarós, using the cavity in the rock from a former oil field. Madrid approved the project without an earthquake risk report, despite a formal petition from the Catalan Government. Now, geologists, the Spanish Industry Ministry and the company admit that the injection of gas into the rock could be triggering the earthquakes. Activities have been stopped and the Public Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the case.

Severe floods in the north-western Catalan Pyrenees

June 19, 2013 12:44 AM | CNA

The ice melting from the mountain tops and the heavy rain episodes of the last 24 hours have caused flooding of the Garonne, Noguera Pallaresa, Noguera de Cardós and other rivers in the mountain counties of the Val d’Aran, Pallars Sobirà, Alta Ribagorça and north of Pallars Jussà. More than 300 people have been evacuated from their homes in flooded or at risk areas. No victims or missing people have been reported, but material damage is considerable. Bridges have been swallowed by the waters and some roads have partially collapsed since the land beneath them has been swept away by the flood. Road access to the Val d’Aran County was closed as a precaution. Rain is expected to continue during the night and the reservoirs are overflowing because they have reached their maximum capacity.

Catalonia on alert for high forest fire risks due to African heat wave

August 8, 2012 09:42 PM | CNA / Guillem Sanchez / David Tuxworth

It is expected that the heat wave will last from Thursday to Saturday and that temperatures will climb to at least 34ºC throughout Catalonia. The Catalan Government has closed eight forest areas of high risk and has limited agricultural activity. Civil Protection is on ‘pre-alert’ in 27 counties and firefighters have began pre-emptive surveillance of areas that will be at risk. In other developments, the Catalan Police have found DNA on the cigarette butt which started the fires in Portbou.