AFTER a weekend of heavy rains and storms battering the coastline and inland areas the clean up operation is now underway as people assess the damage done.
The Vega Baja and Marina Alta were areas particularly hard hit and are traditionally known to be at the highest risk of flooding in the province.
According to the Territorial Action Plan on the Prevention of Flood Risk in Valencia, (PATRICOVA) of a dozen municipalities in the province of Alicante, 11 of them included on the high risk register are in the Vega Baja including Almoradí, Callosa de Segura, Catral, Daya Nueva, Daya Vieja, Dolores, Formentera del Segura, Orihuela, Rafal, Benejuzar and San Fulgencio.
Whilst these areas are known to be prone to flooding, as the last few days have proven, they are not the only ones that can flood. Director of the Laboratory of Climatology at the University of Alicante, Jorge Olcina, said: “There are cities like Benidorm or Pilar de la Horadada in which a ravine can generate serious problems.” According to the climatologist: “The biggest problem in this province is that until 2008 building in areas of flood risk continued despite such serious consequences that were seen with rain in the 1980s and 1990s.” The coastal areas with a high amount of human occupation are also at a risk.
However Olcina adds that impact can be limited and Alicante should be seen as “an example of what should be done.” After being hit hard by the rains in 1982 and 1997, the infrastructure of the ‘Antirriadas Plan’ has minimised the impact of the rains. In addition, the construction of breakwaters have also contributed to alleviate serious problems and to facilitate the evacuation of water.