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The noise sensors deployed by the APB pick up port tributes to the health workers fighting the Covid-19 virus

Palma, 05/05/2020

As in almost all inhabited areas in Spain, the applause for health workers at eight o'clock in the evening have become a daily event in the Balearic Islands' public ports. In this case, local residents are joined by the crews on the ships berthed in the ports. This phenomenon has been confirmed by the noise pollution sensors deployed by the Port Authority of the Balearic Islands (APB), in which the applause for those who are fighting the Covid-19 virus can be clearly heard at 8pm.

In the case of the ports, the sound of applause and sirens from the emergency vehicles in the city is added to by the noise of the horns on the ships berthed in the docks, which are sounded by the confined crew or shipowners.

The most visible example of this phenomenon can be found in the Port of Palma. The recordings of the last few weeks appear are shown on a graph in which the noise peak at eight o'clock in the evening can be clearly and regularly heard, in most cases exceeding 70 decibels, when during the rest of the day the levels are between 40 and 60 decibels.

The noise sensor referred to in this graph is located on the roof of the APB's offices, that is, near the houses in the historic quarter of the city and the boats docked at the Moll Vell quay. The sharp contrast in the registers is due to the limited activity recorded in the ports in recent weeks – which are therefore quieter than usual – compared to the applause of residents and ships’ horns at 8 pm.

Ibiza, Mahon and La Savina

The noise sensors that the APB has installed in the ports of Ibiza, Mahon and La Savina have also recorded the spontaneous tribute of local inhabitants, albeit not as clearly as in the case of Palma.

In the Port of Ibiza, the sensor located at the beginning of the Botafoc road shows peaks every day at 8pm that reach and sometimes exceed 75 decibels, although they are not as regular as in the Port of Palma. In the case of the Port of Mahon, the sensor located in the Cós Nou also picks up the sound of the tributes to the health workers, but it is not as clear as it is mixed with the noise of ferries entering and leaving the port.

The same occurs in the Port of La Savina where the dominant sound at 8 pm is that of ships' horns, since the town is quite far from the noise sensor, but this is distorted in the graph by other unidentified port activities. This phenomenon has not taken place in the Port of Alcudia, since the houses are quite far away from the quays and the commercial docks are usually empty at eight o'clock in the evening.


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