UME stops acting in Madrid after Ayuso government lowers alert level due to storm

Updated: Monday, January 18, 2021 11:10 PM

Published on: 18.01.2021 23:07

While many streets in Madrid are still full of snow, ice and now also garbage accumulated during the days when cleaning services had difficulty accessing, the Community of Madrid has decided to lower the alert of the plan inclement level 1. Winter. A decision that results in the withdrawal of the UME, which collaborated to correct the damage caused by storm Filomena.

The Interior Ministry influenced a statement according to which it is the community itself which “decides not to use the means of the Emergency Military Unit”, while recalling that this decision “affects and binds” all the municipal councils of Madrid, which will not be able to count on your help either.

So that there is no doubt, in the note of the service directed by Fernando Grande-Marlaska, they do not hesitate to insist on the fact that the ministry “did not participate in this decision and limited to communicating it through established channels “.

The question that then arises is whether military service is no longer necessary to help in the situation that Madrid is going through, a question to which the mayor of the capital, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, answered in an interview. on “ Telemadrid ”. Almeida insisted that EMU’s resources “are limited”.

“We asked them if they could collaborate on a range of tasks, but there are many other cities that also need UME resources.[…] We would have liked the UME to continue in Madrid, but we understand that they have to go to other cities, ”he said.

Madrid authorities on Friday asked the body to help clean the streets and, according to city council sources, “the request for help was repeated for a few more days.”

Regional government does not rule out “calling EMU” if necessary

Lowering to alert level 1 implies de facto deactivation of State resources, that is to say of the EMU. It is now the town halls which must manage with their own resources the tasks in which the Army has collaborated, and to access the UME, it is the Community of Madrid which must make the request and activate level 2.

Despite this, the regional government does not rule out asking for its help if it is necessary for “a specific action”. According to sources from the Ministry of the Interior at LaSexta, going down to alert level 1 “does not mean that at some point if a municipality needs more aid, the UME will not be called upon to take action. specific.

The same explanation was given by the community’s justice minister, Enrique López, who denied that the regional executive had “deactivated the UME”. In a message on Twitter, he explained that with Alert Level 1, they continue to “support municipalities with our resources and, if necessary, with UME”.

The challenge of cleaning the streets before the new storm

With the help of the UME or not, Emergencias has already warned the administrations that it is essential to clean the streets in anticipation of the rain storm that will arrive on Wednesday.

The effects of this new storm could be worsened by the garbage and snow found on the streets and roads of municipalities in the region.

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