The national police say the new penalties have reduced the average speed on Spain’s roads by 4%. By my reckoning, this means that people will now be flashing past me on the autopistas at a sedate 173kph [108mph], compared with the previous insane 180kph [113mph].
Given Spain’s temperatures and shortage of rain – at least in bits of the country south of here – you’d think care would be taken with water here. In fact, the NWF claim management of this precious commodity is poorer in Spain than anywhere else in the developed world. Coincidentally, figures issued yesterday suggest the country’s reservoirs are at only 44% of capacity, the lowest level in 10 years. I seem to recall reading water is considerably cheaper here than elsewhere in Europe, which would explain a lot. So I guess it’s not hard to predict price rises.
Another thing I remember reading was that the EU authorities were going to crack down on spam emails. I guess this must be why I received a mere 30 today.
Today’s Fire Facts
According to whom you believe, the provisional total of Galician land burned is 77,000 hectares [the regional government], 86,000 hectares [the EU] or 175,500 hectares [the opposition party]. The smallest figure is equivalent to the whole of Madrid and a few of its outlying townships. And also represents 2.6% of Galicia’s land mass.
The worst effected province was Pontevedra, which lost 50% of its trees.
Dealing with the fires consumed 6% of Galicia’s water, at a time when[see above] reservoir levels are worryingly low.
12 of the 28 people arrested have been jailed, awaiting trial. None of these are accused of taking part in a criminal conspiracy. Or of being ‘forestal terrorists’.
10,000 wild animals [mostly horses] have had their habitat destroyed.
Local hotels have received 650 cancellations.
If the recommendations of ecologists are implemented, 14 million plants will be needed to prevent soil erosion.
And a final fact that’s got nothing to do with the fire but which has a Galician connection – the mini submarine found in the Bay of Vigo would have been capable of bringing 3,000 kilos of cocaine close to the shore. No one seems to know why it was abandoned. Perhaps it leaked over the produce.