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Why Paphos?

THE Paphos area has been struck by torrential rain three times in the past two weeks, causing major problems including the flooding of properties, flash floods, mudslides, traffic chaos and power cuts. One local estate agent said the main problem was caused by developers building on unsuitable sites. “They buy cheap land on ravines, with […]

THE Paphos area has been struck by torrential rain three times in the past two weeks, causing major problems including the flooding of properties, flash floods, mudslides, traffic chaos and power cuts.

One local estate agent said the main problem was caused by developers building on unsuitable sites. “They buy cheap land on ravines, with water running through developments, and many buildings are not properly elevated from the road,” said Telis Christou.“Mass constructions also cause excess mud and dust to get onto the roads in large quantities, which cause traffic problems,” he explained.

Mass constructions also cause excess mud and dust to get onto the roads in large quantities, which cause traffic problems,” he explained.“Combine this with the fact that Municipal elections are taking place in December, with the Mayor opening up numerous streets for road works, and you get a lot of flooding whenever it rains.

He also spoke of a lack of adequate sewage and drainage infrastructure in the town.

Although I’m not a weather expert, I think that many storms that hit the island come from the west, meaning Paphos is first in the line of fire and is worst affected.

Head of the Weather Services, Kyriacos Theofilou agreed, saying three inches of rain fell in certain areas of the town on Monday evening. “The bad weather was caused by a low pressure system coming in from the direction of Crete.”

The Fire Services worked for hours, mainly dealing with flooded basements.

Spokeswoman Lisa Kemidji said the force had been called out to 30 separate locations. She agreed with Christou about the unsuitability of many sites where developments have sprung up, adding that Paphos also has “a lot of wild scrub and agricultural land so heavy rain causes more damage and inconvenience”.

The rain on Monday was so powerful it would have caused the same chaos whether it had hit Nicosia, Limassol or any other town on the island.

Neither the Paphos mayor nor the city’s municipal engineer were available for comment, but the village leader of Kissonerga, where a woman and presumably her missing husband were swept to their death in a flash flood, hit out at developers. “The irrational development for financial gain with the creation of new communities without proper planning is to blame,” he said.

Deforestation without any consideration for the consequences has opened the way for these violent torrents that did not exist before.

Green Party leader George Perdikis said the party, “has been worried about the situation for a while now and met to discuss the issue after the last heavy rains two weeks ago. Unfortunately, nobody else seems to be concerned.

Larnaca was also badly hit by the storms, with the highway between Athienou, Avdellero and Aradippou filling up with stones and mud after midnight, while a whirlwind destroyed greenhouses and uprooted trees in the district.

Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2006

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