It was claimed that 51 percent of Catalan forests have no maintenance and therefore become dry and tinderbox like causing the increase in the risk of fires when the temperatures rise in the summer (article in Castilian, El Pais). According to data from the Obra Social Caixa Catalunya, the four Catalan provinces together have 1.9 million hectares of forest and 65 percent are considered highly flammable. The risk in forest fire is compounded by the lack of clearing after the effects of storms that struck in January with many fallen trees being left on the ground. So far this year the total number of hectares effected by fire has totaled more than in 2007 and 2008 put together.
Two tourists from Catalunya were amongst the survivors of a plane crash in Koh Samui in Thailand yesterday (article in Castilian, El Periodico). Jordi Garcia and his girlfriend Roser Olles, both engineers, were among the 68 passengers on board when the apparently experienced pilot lost control of the plane and crashed into the old control tower at the airport. The pilot lost his life and seven others were severely wounded. "People were quite upset, with some scratches and small wounds.. all were quite nervous" stated Garcia. Authorities were launching an investigation into the cause of the crash unsure if it was down to human error or bad weather at the time of take off.
The start of the proposed works on the Metro lines began yesterday with the closure of line 5 between Can Boixeres and Collblanc. (article in Castilian, El Pais) Shut until November 5th a network of substitute buses have been provided to offer alternatives but a journey that would have taken 6 minutes will now take the passenger 45 minutes and they will have to use three different buses. The result was chaos and confusion amongst the passengers travelling yesterday with many expressing concern that the system will get even worse when the city returns to running at full capacity in September.
The circular turret in the Portlligat house of Salvador Dalí has been opened as part of the museum (article in Catalan, El Punt). The space which he used to build sculptures and host performances will be incorporated into the Museum Salvador Dali. Antoni Pitxot, the vice president of the Foundation Gala-Salvador Dalí said that for the artist, "this was a space of contemplation". The space now houses audiovisual screens on which to show footage of Dalí and his life in Portlligat. The ceiling also contains a glass skylight which was used to watch models posed there.