Expats in Orihuela dreading a repeat of last year’s devastating floods

Published:  12 Jun at 6 PM
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Tagged: USA
Orihuela’s mayor as well as worried expats still need help cleaning up last year’s Gota Fria devastation.

Following the devastating floods and damage caused in and around the Spanish city of Orihuela by last year’s violent Gota Fria storms, the city’s residents and its government are afraid the weather phenomenon will strike again within three months from now. Sadly, most of the damage caused last fall hasn’t yet been repaired as the regional authority hasn’t provided enough emergency funding.

Much of the repairs and renovations needed after last year’s severe weather events is still outstanding, with residents, expats and local businesses terrified a repetition of the severe storms is on the way. Recent storms have already caused flooding in the region, and are being seen as a bad omen for later in the year. Some €57 million was received from the EU by the regional government, but only small amounts have trickled down to the popular expat and tourism hub.

Orhuela city council is coordinating with the other municipalities in the region known as Vega Baja as regards plans to restore infrastructure destroyed during last year’s massive floods, but opening the borders between Vega Baja and Murcia is essential at this time. Another essential is the expediting of plans to complete high speed rain links and a major road project joining the two regions.

Interestingly, an ancient Roman map shows the flood-prone Vega Baja region was part of the Mediterranean Sea two thousand years ago, with the areas worst affected by flooding drying out and becoming viable over many hundreds of years due to sediment dumped on the ocean floor for two millennia. Recent studies of the Gota Fria weather phenomenon revealed the warming of the Mediterranean waters was the engine behind the increasingly devastating storms and their record-breaking rains.
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