Latest Gran Canaria News, Views & Sunshine
Menas Case: Foundation Siglo XXI directors allegedly filed false invoices, unrealistic expenses and repeatedly drew funds from ATMs, meant for the care of migrant children, even charging botox facial treatments and posh restaurant bills to foundation debit cards
Jun, 2023 |
A comprehensive analysis conducted by Group I of the Economic and Fiscal Crime Unit (UDEF) of the National Police yielded scandalous results, writes Spanish language daily Canarias7, regarding the alleged irregular use of the public funds intended for the care of unaccompanied minors, by the suspected to have been perpetrated by centres managed by the Foundation Social Response Siglo XXI on Gran Canaria and Lanzarote. In this case, driven by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, investigators discovered that the director of the Guiniguada centre charged the NGO responsible for €1,500 worth of beauty treatments and €1,113 for bills at top restaurants including Vinófilos, El Vasco de Vegueta, and Triciclo.
Centre-Right Pact Between Regionalists (CC) And Resident Conservatives (PPAV) Returns Marco Aurelio Perez As Southern Mayor
Jun, 2023 |
The conservative Partido Popular-Agrupación de Vecinos (PP-AV) and the right of centre regionalist Coalición Canaria (CC) have this Thursday signed a local government pact that will shape the future of the southern Gran Canaria tourism municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana. The alliance, dubbed a “Pact for Stability and Socioeconomic Progress of San Bartolomé Tirajana”, represents 60% of the votes cast in the municipality’s recent local elections, emphasised the mayor-elect, Marco Aurelio Pérez (PP-AV), who returns for the third time to lead the local council responsible for some of the most important tourism areas on the island, including Maspalomas, Playa del Inglés and San Agustín.
Local Government Coalition Agreement Maspalomas and the South of Gran Canaria
Jun, 2023 |
A governing coalition pact has been finalised in San Bartolomé de Tirajana. The Popular Party–Agrupación de Vecinos (PP-AV) conservative residents party is to join forces with regionalist centre-right Coalición Canaria (CC) to govern the main tourist municipality on Gran Canaria for the next four years. Marco Aurelio Pérez will serve as mayor for the entire four-year term, and the Popular Party will take charge of Employment, Sports, Roads and Infrastructure, and Human Resources, among other areas. The regionalists, led by Alejandro Marichal, will oversee Urban Planning, Economy and Finance, and Tourism as their main departments.
Storm Óscar Latest: Government of the Canary Islands Declares Rain Alert for Western Islands and Gran Canaria
Jun, 2023 |
A storm system, dubbed Óscar, has formed over the last few days over the mid-north Atlantic, unusual for this time of year, and has led to concern from meteorologists and journalists as it passes south of the Azores, its tail should reach The Canary Islands, before the system heads northeast towards mainland Spain. Advisory warnings have been issued in expectation of heavy rainfall, primarily in the Western Isles of the Canary Islands Archipelago, though some rainfall is also expected to reach Gran Canaria over the next couple of days. It seems unlikely that any major consequences will stem from the bad weather, however these things can be unpredictable and so every precaution is taken to ensure people are informed and kept safe.
Foundation Investigated for Alleged Mismanagement of Public Funds Meant for Care of Unaccompanied Migrant Minors
Jun, 2023 |
The 7th Investigative Court of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has opened a preliminary investigation into the Social Response Foundation Siglo XXI and four of its directors. The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office in Las Palmas filed a complaint against them, alleging crimes that could include forgery of commercial documents, mismanagement, and embezzlement of public funds. The investigation aims to determine whether this nonprofit organisation, and its officials, could have misused public funds intended for the care of unaccompanied migrant minors, during the migration crisis of 2020 that was precipitated by the pandemic confinement on the islands, leading to a build up of arrivals having to be assessed and cared for by the Canary Islands Regional Government, using hotels left empty due to the lack of tourism. The estimated amount involved in the alleged misuse stands at around €12.5 million between 2020 and 2022 on Gran Canaria alone.
Fred Olsen to connect the Canary Islands with route to the Peninsula
Passenger ship operator Fred Olsen Express has launched a new triangular route to mainland Spain, with the collaboration of the Baleària shipping company, through their alliance project announced last September “Canary Bridge Seaways” (CBS), which now links the port of Huelva with the two main ports of the Canary Islands, la Luz on Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
This new route will be operated aboard the ship Martín i Soler, owned by Baleària. The ship is to depart the Puerto de la Luz, in Las Palmas, every Tuesday and Sunday, at 12 noon and will take 44 hours to reach its final destination, the Andalusian port of Huelva, after a 4 hour stopover in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
The ship will set sail from the Peninsular on Fridays at 8:00 p.m. and head to Gran Canaria where it will have a four-hour stopover and return to mooring in Tenerife.
The route will offer various services including a restaurant, bar, shop, Internet connection, outdoor areas, a children’s area and a pool as well as cabins and various seating rooms (tourist or superior).
Source: Fred Olsen will connect the Canary Islands with the Peninsula
Dead fish washing ashore in Playa del Inglés
Jun, 2018 | Environment, Maspalomas
Dozens of dead fish washed up on the coast of Playa del Inglés this Thursday, in the southern municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana. Around noon, several bathers reported that dead fish had appeared without explanation on the seashore, near kiosk number seven, towards the Punta de Maspalomas , .
After inspecting the beach, Local Police found more than sixty dead fisch. Councilman for Beaches and Care of the Coast, José Carlos Álamo, explained that they were a kind of fish that fishermen often reject having caught them in their nets, and so through them back when they have no value at market. The town hall is thereby suggesting that the the creatures could have simply washed ashore after a sailor threw them overboard from his boat. “It is said that nobody wants this type of fish because it eats the dead,” said the mayor in a statement to the press.
The San Bartolome de Tirajana townhall has thereby ruled out any possibility that the dead fish had somehow escaped from the fish farm cages in Castillo del Romeral, as happened last February, due to strong waves prevailing in the area. At that time, a tide of sea bass arrived on the coasts of Playa del Inglés. The mayor and the councilman for Beaches and Coastal Care have assured the public that in this case, as in the previous one, the appearance of dead fish on the shore does not in itself pose any risk to the health or safety of bathers.
The mayor went on to say that after learning of the situation, the Town hall of San Bartolomé de Tirajana immediately deployed the beach cleaning services to remove the fish, which were already in an advanced state of decomposition.
A few hours later, Playa del Inglés once again presented its usual pristine image.
The Canary Islands Government announce introduction of boat to collect micro-algae this summer
May, 2018 | Environment, Government, Technology
The Canary Islands Government have announced that this summer they plan to introduce a specialised boat for the collection of foam around bathing areas that can appear due to algae blooms. The vessel is a patent of an Andalusian company and will be used for the first time in Spain for this purpose.
The Regional Minister for Territorial Policy, Sustainability and Security, Nieves Lady Barreto, made the announcement in Parliament after reporting that the Directorates General of Nature Protection and Public Health are maintaining an alert system to detect and analyse the possible appearance of algae blooms on the coasts.
“There is an internal work protocol between the two directorates-general, the presence of foams with strange colors or the colouration of seawater are signs that trigger the collection of samples by beach guards or Public Health inspectors,” explained Barreto, according to the Ministry.
These samples are sent to the Spanish Algae Bank (BEA), who partner the Vice-Ministry of the Environment in the MIMAR project (INTERREG Project).
Within the framework of this project, the BEA and Vice-council technicians periodically review a network of stations distributed throughout the archipelago to detect toxic algal blooms.
In addition, helicopters from the Emergency and Rescue Group (GES), attached to the General Directorate of Security and Emergencies of the Government of the Canary Islands, are involved in the early detection of toxic algal blooms; the 112 service and the RedPROMAR (marine network), the citizen science network of the Vice-Ministry of the Environment that allows for detection of foam or “red tides” by means of citizen reporting.
The proceedure with massive blooms of microalgae consists of coordinating the taking of samples, which are sent for study at the Spanish Bank of Algae (BEA), a partner of the MIMAR project led by the Vice-Ministry of the Environment, where it is characterised (determination of present species, observed densities) and a report is issued with the results of the analysis.
When these results show that the type of flowering observed might have effects on health, this is reported from the General Directorate of Nature Protection to the General Directorate of Public Health and a copy of the report is transferred to them.
Likewise, this information is transferred to the General Directorate of Security and Emergencies and, when it comes to species that may compromise the quality of fishery resources, also to the Directorate General of Fisheries.
The General Directorate of Public Health has competence regarding the decisions to be taken in bathing areas, and the governments work in these events is monitoring.
Therefore, from the earliest beginning of an event, a monitoring program has been set up, together with the Offices of the Marine Reserves, observers of the RedPROMAR, the Integral Service of Marine Technology (SITMA) of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the helicopters of the Emergency and Rescue Group (GES), attached to the General Directorate of Security and Emergencies of the Government of the Canary Islands.
The technicians explained that given the agitation of the waves on the coast, dissolved salts and organic matter from the sea capture microbubbles and form foams that can be observed along the coastline, in areas with greatest exposure to waves, without this necessarily suppossing an indicator of contamination.
The minister added that winter foams have not ever been associated with toxic algal blooms.
As for the summer, and only if the phenomenon occurs, the Deputy Ministry of Environment will implement the planned action protocols, accompanied by informative material for placement at beaches and coastal bathing areas, in addition to continuing with the operations described and that they have been operating for two years now.
The minister also pointed out that an agreement is to be signed for this period with the ULPGC for the global study of the dynamics of oceanic algal blooms and thus be able to create an early warning system based on ocean remote sensing.
Gran Canaria’s reservoirs collect nearly 26 million cubic meters of water, enough for 3 years agriculture
Mar, 2018 | Environment, News, Weather
This little island of Gran Canaria boasts the highest number of dams and reservoirs per capita anywhere in the world and over the last 3 days of rainstorms last week they managed to collect an extra seven million cubic meters of water, in addition to that already collected in the week prior, to total more than 25.8 million cubic meters now stored, enough to ensure almost three years of agricultural irrigation.
The archipelago’s largest dam of all, Soria, with a capacity of 32 million cubic meters, was almost dry at just 0.1% capacity holding only 32,420 cubic meters, but these much needed rains filled it to 11% with the first two weather fronts followed by the tail end of Atlantic storm Emma adding a further 2.2 million m3 bringing it to a record 17% standing at depths of more than 50m, for use by the farmers of the south who have suffered several years of drought.
The average stored water for the hundred or so smaller reservoirs is now 75%, with four having completely filled -Gambuesa (which overflowed into Ayagaures), El Mulato, Siberio and Las Hoyas-, as well as Vaquero having achieved 92% and Candelaria exceeding 80%, Caidero de las Niñas (into which Siberio overflowed) and Parralillo. Sorrueda in the Tirajana valley took 1.2 million cubic meters and then last weekend 300,000 cubic meters more, so is now at half of its capacity.
The average capacity of the 68 or so bigger reservoirs is around 50% having collected more than 20million cubic meters to add to their balance prior to the storms of 4.8 million, resulting in a total volume of 25.8 million cubic meters now collected in the reservoirs and storage facilities on this little island.
The rains have left a tremendously positive outlook for the farmers who have finally found relief after years of uncertainty brought about by drought and dwindling water resources, and they have been joined by the public resources managers of all the administrations who have struggled to ensure adequate availability and supply for all both north and particularly in the south, be it the Cabildo or the town councils affected in each case. They are all to be congratulated and thanked having done such a great job at surviving through very hard times.
The Las Niñas dam accumulated the most water, at almost 3.8 million cubic meters. It went from 50 to 73 % of its capacity in just five days.
Chira currently has almost two million cubic meters after receiving 1.5 million in total and more than 500,000 since last Thursday. It already stands at a height of 20 meters and is at 34% of its capacity, when only a few days earlier was at 24% and a week ago just 10%.
Fataga dam after the rains
Gambuesa is totally full after having gained one million cubic meters to total 1.3 million at a depth of 42 meters. Seven days ago it was only 27%, rising to 87% on March 1.
After the overflow of Gambuesa last weekend, the Ayaugares dam has too begun to receive water holding 500,000 cubic meters. It has gone from 1 to 27% and reached 25 meters in depth.
Candelaria has reached 86% of its capacity and is currently at 340,000 cubic meters and almost 24 meters deep after receiving around 200,0000 cubic meters in recent days.
One of the dams that has completely changed its appearance Fataga, since only a week ago it was at 2% of its capacity and has gone to 71% after receiving almost 100,000 cubic meters more since March 1.
Vaquero dam is at the limit of the overflow Having increased its capacity by 20 % from Thursday, going from 72 to 92 % and reaching 34 meters depth.
And the Mulato dam, overlooking the head of the Mogán valley, also overflowed during the recent rains, having doubled the water stored in just seven days then increased 27 percent more from March 1. It now holds 760,000 cubic meters of water and has reached a depth of 35 meters.
All in all those few days of dark skies and wet weather have transformed and rejuvenated the island as it heads for a glorious spring, leaving grateful farmers once more able to plan for the future and with luck some bumper harvests ahead.
Canary Islands Government issue alert for Coastal Phenomena
The Government of the Canary Islands, through the General Directorate for Security and Emergencies, have declared a general Alert for Coastal Phenomena in the Canary Islands as of 00:00 hours on Thursday February 8.
This decision was made taking into account information provided by the Spanish State Meteorological Agency AEMET and other available sources, leading them to implement the Civil Protection Plan for Adverse Meteorological Phenomenon (PEFMA).
Observations: Force 6 N-NE winds, gusting to force 7 and locally force 8 during the first half of the day. Combined sea swell: 5-6 m on the open coasts to the north and on the channels between islands.
The population is urged to follow the self-protection advice of the General Directorate of Security and Emergencies:
How to prevent damage and injury from Coastal Phenomena
Protect your home from the possible invasion of sea water
Do not stand at the end of springs or breakwaters, or risk taking pictures or videos near where waves break
Avoid fishing in risk areas
Do not drive vehicles on roads near the beach line
Never bathe in secluded beaches or in areas you do not know well, because there may be local whirlpools
Avoid bathing on all beaches with red flags, in areas where there is strong swell and surf or that lack life guard surveillance and rescue services
Avoid doing sports and nautical activities in the areas affected by the sea and do not camp on the beach when there is an alert due to sea storms.
If you notice unusual waves, do not stay near the sea, or get close even if they suddenly calm down
If you have a boat try to secure its mooring in a sheltered place
If you see other people in dangerous places, warn them of the danger
If you fall into the water, get away from where the waves break, call for help and wait for rescue
If you try to get out of the water and get swept out by the waves, try to keep calm; Do not swim against the current and let yourself go with the flow. In general, coastal currents lose intensity along other stretches of coastline and that’s when you will need to swim
If you are on land and you see that someone who has fallen into the water, throw them a rope with a flotation device, or any other object to which they can cling. Alert the emergency services immediately at 1-1-2
For any information request, call 0-12
Suspected drowning at Amadores beach after woman pulled from the water
A woman died shortly after one o’clock this Wednesday afternoon at Amadores beach on the south coast of Gran Canaria, according to reports from the main 112 Emergency Coordination Centre. A group of bathers retrieved the woman from the water, who was unconscious with presumed signs of drowning.
After warning the 112 emergency services, the woman, who has not yet been identified, received attention from rescuers stationed at the aforementioned beach, who attempted to perform resuscitation maneuvers. The woman was found to be suffering from cardio-respiratory arrest. In spite of their best efforts, it was not possible to revive her and she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Amadores is one of the most popular beaches on the Costa Mogán, not far from the resort town of Puerto Rico. It is an artificially constructed bay, specifically designed for gentle bathing, and so accidents of this sort are extremely rare. It is primarily used by tourists.
93 people drowned in the Canary Islands region during 2017
Jan, 2018 | Alerts, Education, Environment, Government, Health, Sport, Tourism
Downing deaths last year were more than double the number of road deaths in the region. 93 people died by drowning in the Canary Islands during 2017, making the archipelago the worst autonomous community in Spain, having the highest number of deaths by drowning last year, according to the National Drowning Report prepared by the ‘Real Federación Española de Salvamento y Socorrismo’.
The Canary Islands was once again the Spanish territory with the most drowning victims, just as it was in 2016, and with numbers having significantly increased from 71 the previous year to reach 93 deaths by drowning in 2017. 19.3% of the total drowning deaths in Spanish aquatic spaces happened in this archipelago. 73 men and 20 women drowned.
Based on this grim record 71%, of those who drowned in Canary Islands waters, were bathers, 13% were fishermen, 6% were taking part in water sports , 6% were diving and the rest accounted for 4%.
67% of those dead who were identified were foreigners of at up to 13 different nationalities; with victims from Germany, Finland, Wales, Belgium, China, Romania, Poland, Cuba, United Kingdom, France, Romania, Sweden and Denmark. However this sad death toll is led by the Germans followed by the British and the French “at some great distance”.
The figures indicate that drowning is by far the most common cause of accidental death in the Canary Islands, being double the number of deaths recorded due to a traffic accident. For the fourth consecutive year, the Canary Islands saw the highest numbers in Spain of deaths by drowning, followed by Andalusia which closed 2017 with 76 such deaths.
In total Spain closes 2017 with 481 people having been killed by drowning in Spanish aquatic spaces.
Public Health Department order immediate restrictions on water consumption in Arguineguín area
Dec, 2017 | Alerts, Animals, Environment, Government, Health, Local Council, Mogán
Sanitary authorities have today ordered restrictions on the human consumption water from the main supply in Arguineguín due to an excess of chloride detected in the most recent analyses carried out by the Public Health Department of Gran Canaria. The water should not be used in any way for drinking, cooking or preparing food until chloride levels have normalized.
In the latest analyses carried out by the Public Health officials in the supply zone of Arguineguín, where the Mogán Town Council is solely responsible for supplying the water service, chloride values considered unsuitable for human consumption have been detected according to a report from the Programa de Vigilancia Sanitaria del Agua de Consumo Humano Program for Health Surveillance on Human Consumption of Water, leading to the restrictions on the use of water being put in place with immediate effect in order to protect the public from adverse reactions.
Over the next two months the Mogán Town Council is to carry out weekly analyses to check the levels of chlorides in the Arguineguín areas where it provides water services.
These restrictions will remain in force until chloride levels are normalized, at which time the Mogán Town hall will issue a new statement.
Source: Ayuntamiento de Mogán
Although most members of the foreign community tend to only drink bottled water, many locals and particularly those who cannot afford to buy extra drinking water do drink straight from the taps. Most people do however use the water for food preparation, cooking and for their pets and other animals. it is strongly advised that no consumption of the water is allowed until the chloride detected has returned to safe levels for humans and animals alike.
Local residents say they have been warning Mogán Council for several years that there is a problem with too many chemicals being added to the water supply.
Opposition councillors also recently highlighted the concerns from residents living in the Barranco de Arguineguín neighbourhood of El Horno, after many complained of burning sensations and a strong smell of chloride coming from the water that came out of the taps.
This is not a new problem, but for the sake of public health, it is one that must be addressed properly and in good time.