Costa Blanca flood victims to receive emergency grants and aid from local government

Published:  20 Sep at 6 PM
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In the aftermath of the catastrophic Costa Blanca floods, the Valencian government is preparing to grant financial aid to victims who’ve lost everything.

The freak storms, now considered the worst in living memory, flooded a huge swathe of the Vega Baja from Los Alcazares to Orihuela, devastating 300,000 acres of farmland, destroying homes and businesses and claiming seven lives. The cleanup is expected to cost 1.5 billion euros and there are no estimates at present as to how long it will take. The first grants will be given to those who’ve lost their homes and belongings, with ‘shock aid’ packages of between 3,000 and 5,000 euros enabling victims to replace destroyed items and meet urgent needs such as housing and food. The agri-food industry will receive special financial support allocations, hopefully enabling the sector to resume production as soon as is practicable.

As well as money from the local government’s emergency funds, it’s expected that financial help from the Spanish government as well as from the EU will be needed, with Brussels already topping up vital funding necessary in order to provide emergency assistance to those in desperate need in the wider community. In addition, roads and the irrigation infrastructure have been badly affected, as have healthcare services and education. The region is popular with British expat retirees, although it’s not yet known how many have suffered damage to or loss of their homes.

The body of an elderly Dutch expat has been recovered from San Fulgencio’s Canal de la Reina, bringing the death count during the floods to seven. The man had been missing since last Sunday and is believed to have been trapped in a flooded drainage ditch. A climatologist professor from the University of Alicante is blaming an increase in the Mediterranean Sea’s water temperature for the killer floods, saying the sea is now reaching tropical levels of around 27/28°C. He explained that the ‘gota fria’ weather event which caused the catastrophic floods is worsening due to the climate-regulating Atlantic jet stream being compromised by the melting of the Arctic’s polar ice caps. As a result, clouds are far larger and carry more water and energy, leading to an increase in the intensity of rainfall. If his analysis is correct, a good number of Brit expats may be looking to another long-term retirement destination or even repatriation.
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