A DANA (a mass of high-altitude cold air mixes with warm humid air from the Mediterranean) hit Spain yesterday, affecting Madrid and Toledo the worst. Emergency services responded to around 1,500 incidents of people trapped in their cars and homes, which left two people dead and two more missing.
Urban Heat Snapshot (UHS), a research project by Arup university, studied and compared the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE) of six major cities: Cairo, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Mumbai and New York. Results revealed that out of all six cities, Madrid’s UHIE was the most extreme.
On Monday, less than 24 hours after the election in which we saw the right lose nationally, the same right-wing-run city council began preparations for works on Calle Áncora to expand Madrid’s metro network. These works come at the sacrifice of over 1000 mature trees, which residents are strongly resisting.
Pool tickets go on sale online 49 hours before doors open. Within two or three minutes, all 585 tickets to the city centre’s only public outdoor pool, Peñuelas, are gone. Over the past few weeks, a conspiracy theory grew that a few people were monopolising tickets, booking them quickly and then selling them off to their friends. The theory appeared partly true when a 400-strong neighbourhood WhatsApp group called ‘Peñuelas pool’ hit the headlines, with members being called a “mafia of families”.
A group of local activists launched the citizens’ initiative #termometrada on Saturday with the aim of regularly reading temperatures in 169 locations around Madrid. Measurements will be taken at various times of the day: at sunrise, two hours after sunset, and at 5pm, when heat peaks across the city. Readings are taken electronically, at head-height and in the shade. After several minutes, the reading will settle and can be recorded.
On Tuesday 16 May, around 5000 firefighters from Coordinadora Unitaria de Bomberos Profesionales (CUBP) travelled from all over Spain to the capital to demonstrate their frustrations over government delays in updating a law that, if approved, would allow firefighting services across the country to tackle incidents based on which unit is closest.
In winter 2021, Madrid experienced the worst snowstorm in 300 years and lost around 80,000 trees. A year later, the city council planted 90,620 saplings, but by summer – the city's hottest on record – 77% of them had died. Ecologistas en Acción explained: “They left the saplings abandoned and without watering at the height of summer,” rightly claiming that this mass recklessness could and should have been prevented.
La mañana del 2 de septiembre, sin previo aviso, el Ayuntamiento de Madrid arrasó el jardín vecinal de la plaza de Lavapiés, alegando que se trataba de un uso ilegal del espacio público.
Overnight, Storm Celia dragged a blanket of Saharan dust as fine as powdered makeup to the Spanish peninsula. Everything from snowy mountains and skyscrapers to streets and cars are covered in a layer of red dust. Look into the near distance and see a red haze (calima) settle into the horizon. This is the densest and most abundant Saharan calima in Spain's living memory and lasted three days.
In January, Storm Filomena brought the capital to a standstill. While we were building snowmen, snowboarding through the streets and carving makeshift paths for the elderly, there was something we completely overlooked: the countryside.