This month's storms destroyed up to 95 per cent of some of Majorca's most beautiful northern beaches, but the Balearics is determined to have all the region's beaches restored to their former glory by the start of May next year. Fernando Garrido, head of Balearic Coastal Management, announced the deadline yesterday, confirming that 2.200 million pesetas is forthcoming from Madrid and that 400 million pesetas has already been made available and repair work is well under way. Fernando Garrido described the storms as some of the worst to have ever hit the Balearics. Between November 11 and 15, near Mahon, waves of an average 5.5 metres were registered, with a maximum of seven metres recorded in the channel between Majorca and Minorca. But, during the 12-hour period when winds of around 130 kilometres per hours reached their very peak, waves of 15.5 metres were reported. Apart from structural damage, the five-day battering caused widespread environmental damage and in some areas completely changed the physical appearance of the coast. Fernando Garrido said that each of the damaged beaches will be treated and studied separately. In some areas sand will be brought in while in others, sand extraction will be carried out from the sea bed.

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