British expat couple in Spain lose literally everything due to devastating floods

Published:  18 Sep at 6 PM
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Tagged: Spain, UK, England
In an update on last week’s devastating storms and floods in Spain, one heartbroken expat couple film the bare earth where their home once stood.

British expat couple Richard and Liesl Cavender had chosen a plot close by the Segura River and near Orihuela city for their new home after leaving the UK to start a new life. Until the gigantic storms broke, Richard ran an IT support business from home, aimed at expats and local businesses, and his wife ran an online sales site retailing toners and printer ink. Right now, the couple are staying at a villa belonging to a kindly expat and have only the clothes they were wearing the night their world collapsed. Worse still, of their five beloved rescue cats, only one has been found.

When the apocalyptic downpours began, the Segura River burst its banks, unable to cope with the influx of water as well as the overflow released from a nearby dam, with the raging torrent sweeping away an entire row of houses and exposing the ground on which they’d been built. Whilst the couple were waiting for news at the rescue centre to which they’d been evacuated, the massive flood was taking everything they’d worked for and leaving just a fridge buried in mud. When they were finally told it was safe to return home, their home was no longer there, nor were the other houses on the street, and their wrecked car was discovered submerged in the still-flowing floodwater. The river had burst its banks just across the road from their home, taking with it concrete walls built in 1987 after another disastrous flood.

Local expats are helping as much as they can, with a GoFundMe appeal raising £5,000 to date from 84 well-wishers. The couple lived on their online earnings, so have neither income nor any idea when or if they can start up again. Spanish house insurance doesn’t allow for ‘acts of God’, with the couple now needing to submit a claim to the government and wait many months for payment. In the meantime, they’re dependent on others’ kindness and charity as all they have left is their passports and a small amount of cash. Richard has filmed the devastation and an English online media outlet has published the videos in the hope that more donations will help them get by until government assistance is forthcoming.
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