Four days after the snowfall of the snowfall with the storm Filomena started, Madrid continued this Monday without recovering the pulse.
The collapse of the capital of Spain was not only reflected in the hundreds of cars abandoned on the shoulders of the main roads (little by little recovered free of charge by municipal cranes in the capital); nor in the millions of citizens locked in their homes because their streets were still conquered by snow; nor in the suspension of classes that returned to lock up parents and children for five school days as in the hardest months of confinement due to the coronavirus.
From the specific problems of supply of fresh products in supermarkets to the minimal activity of the airport, through the crowded subway cars with which it began on Monday, the storm froze the everyday and opened the door to the exceptional.
Mercamadrid, the logistics center that supplies meat, fish, vegetables or fruit to the region, experienced its second consecutive day of closed market on Monday (along with Saturday).
The effects of the lack of activity were immediate: most of the traditional fishmongers remained closed due to the lack of supply, according to Fedepesca. Mercamadrid hopes to gradually recover its activity from today, according to a spokeswoman, although no one dares to put a date at the time when the UME works (started at 3:00 on Saturday) will allow a complete return to normality.
“There is not going to be any kind of shortage problem,” said a company spokeswoman. “This Monday there was no activity. We have decided to dedicate the day to removing snow, since there are 222 hectares of surface in which 20,000 people and 15,000 vehicles concentrate every night, so the work is complex ”.
Enrique López, Minister of Justice, Interior and Victims (in the center), has indicated that Madrid hopes to enter “as soon as possible” in the normalization phase. EFE
Madrid, with its almost seven million inhabitants, does not depend only on the speed in the recovery of Mercamadrid’s activity.
The sphere of influence of this logistics center covers 500 kilometers and 12 million consumers. And the problems accumulate.
Francisco Aranda, president of UNO Logística, warned on Monday that supply chains are at “their maximum tension.” The employers and the Community agree on the urgency of freeing up access to industrial estates such as Getafe, Coslada, Alcalá de Henares or Parla. The regional Executive, in any case, considers the supply guaranteed after releasing the accesses to Mercamadrid.
The Ministry of Health confirmed on Monday an increase in cases seen in the emergency room due to falls due to ice, a trend that will foreseeably continue to rise in the coming days, with Madrid subject to negative temperatures .
In addition, some hospitals had to cancel their scheduled activity, according to the regional government; and six health centers and 79 local clinics remained closed. The unions denounced the problems of access to different facilities due to the accumulation of snow and ice, although there were no problems for the arrival of staff that were experienced during the weekend, and the Executive guarantees that assistance was given in all centers.
The vaccination campaign against the coronavirus continued normally, according to the Government.
The 1.2 million students who study in the 3,344 educational centers in Madrid, in addition to the university ones, will remain at home at least until next Monday, January 18, after the Executive extended on Monday the suspension that had initially announced until this Wednesday in order to deal with the damage caused by the storm in some schools and the difficulties in accessing schools.
The commitment to compensate for that physical absence with online classes again generated protests on Monday on social networks, where complaints about failures in the digital educational platform multiplied.
“Once again they have been late and badly,” criticized Isabel Galvín, of the General Secretary of Education of Madrid of Workers’ Commissions. “They announced the delay of the face-to-face return on Saturday, although the forecasts of the snow and cold storm were already known at the beginning of last week,” he continued.
“Other communities acted with time, Madrid did not,” he said. “On this Monday morning, the online platforms were not working, nor were the institutional emails,” he added.
“Educamadrid (the online platform of the Community) works normally except for some specific problems early in the morning due to overload of tickets,” they opposed from the Ministry of Education. “There is evidence that in a few hours the service has been able to slow down, but the technicians are working to solve the incidents that occur as soon as possible.”
With the subway turned into the only reliable means of transport to move around the capital, the underground registered 21% more passengers between 6:00 and 8:00 on Monday than the previous Monday (for a total of 125,182 passengers).
Social networks reflected photos of crowded wagons in the middle of the coronavirus crisis, because the frequencies of the convoys were affected by the storm: 98 trains of the 300 in the network could not leave the garages due to the snow early in the morning, and the The company focused on gradually incorporating them into the network.
Metro remains open 24 hours a day to facilitate the mobility of Madrid residents as much as possible. Thus, from 2 to 6 in the morning yesterday, it transported more than 13,000 travelers, the majority between 5 and 6 in the morning (10,432 travelers). An approach that is forcing an overexertion to the workforce, also thinned by the difficulties to get to the job, which affects the frequencies.
Madrid authorities insisted on Monday that citizens remain in their residences except for urgent matters. Many had no other options. This Monday, the municipal buses were still not working (the City Council expected to activate 28 lines on Tuesday), and only 500 kilometers of capital roads were practicable , because the snowplows focused their work on the main arteries to facilitate access for emergency services.
In addition, the City Council acknowledged that it was “punctually” without salt in some distribution points. In practice, all this made private traffic impossible (except for SUVs) because the rest of the streets and parking exits continued to be taken over by the snow.
The problem was reproduced in the rest of the cities of the region, through which more than three million inhabitants are distributed. With an aggravating factor: the buses that link these cities do not circulate, or they do, in general, with shuttle lines with a single point of origin and destination, or that do not meet their usual stops, forcing passengers to travel.
Thus, this Monday 75 lines were activated with 55 municipalities and those characteristics. The commuter trains and high-speed trains do work.
In addition, after two days of suspension of activity, the Adolfo Suárez-Madrid Barajas airport canceled at least 117 flights on Monday, reports Europa Press, and in the morning it only operated in T4 and its satellite terminal, to later open T1 ( T2 and T3 have been inoperative since March).
Iberia, for example, had scheduled to operate yesterday 11 of the 15 long-haul flights initially scheduled at Barajas airport, and around 30% of the short and medium-haul flights that connect Madrid with the rest of Spain and Europe.
In Madrid, garbage bags accumulate around already full containers. The image is repeated in many parts of the capital, where waste has not been collected since Friday. The City Council asks citizens not to leave waste outside their homes until the service is restored, when the worst of the mobility problems has passed.
Difficulties moving around Madrid made it difficult for travelers who plan to fly to other countries at the end of the week to undergo the mandatory PCR. It was one more example of how the storm Filomena has altered the daily life of the Community, where the municipal funeral home announced this Monday that burials and cremations are canceled until further notice, and that the collection of bodies will depend on mobility .
Up to nine large parks, including El Retiro, remain closed, due to the immense damage caused by snow on the trees. More than 150,000 could be damaged , according to estimates of the general direction of waters and green areas of the City Council of the capital.
The Community of Madrid suspended until Wednesday the face-to-face activity in day and early care, both for the elderly and for people with disabilities. The decision affects 42 early care centers that serve minors up to six years of age with disabilities or developmental problems, 153 day centers for the elderly spread throughout the region, 185 day centers and occupational centers for people with disabilities and 126 centers for people with mental illness.