Economic aid for the devastating Storm Filomena is set to arrive in 2022, almost a year later.
Almost a year after Storm Filomena wreaked havoc in more than half of Spain, leaving tonnes of snow in the streets of cities unaccustomed to such extreme weather, the wounds remain open as people continue to wait for the economic aid from the government, which will start to arrive in the first quarter of 2022.
On January 8 and 9, the storm left snowfall described as “historic” by the State Meteorological Agency (Aemet), who did not specify exactly how many years ago something similar last occurred. The storm was followed by an “exceptional” cold snap that lasted until January 17.
These phenomena resulted in four deaths (a couple in Mijas, a man in Madrid and another in Zaragoza), they paralysed the economy and they reduced mobility to a minimum. Blocked roads, trapped drivers, suspended circulation of trains, flights cancelled, classrooms closed and, in some cases, a new lockdown that reminded people of the worst days of the pandemic were just some of the consequences of the catastrophe. Hundreds of thousands of trees did not survive and many others were badly damaged.
Two days after the cold snap, the Council of Ministers declared eight autonomous communities to be catastrophe zones: Andalucía, Madrid, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León, Asturias, Aragón, La Rioja and Navarra. These zones would receive economic aid exempt from income tax for the reparation of damage to housing, businesses or public installations.
On June 10, the Council ratified the statutory order for the economic aid to compensate for the damage. The government will provide 251,830,793 euros to cover the damage.
The Ministry of Territorial Policy has estimated the damage at a cost of more than 505 million euros, and the aid provided by the government will cover a maximum of 50%, approximately 252 million euros.
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