THE INTERIOR Minister is due to visit the area of Pissouri where an ongoing landslide has destroyed dozens of homes on Thursday morning.
Elina Zoi, the lawyer for a group of the affected homeowners, confirmed that Constantinos Petrides, the Minister of the Interior, would be visiting Pissouri to meet with the lawyer and local authorities, and view the crumbling homes for himself.
“The plan is to walk around the affected area with the local community leader and see the destruction of the homes ahead of a lunchtime meeting to discuss the problems,” she told the Cyprus Mail on Monday.
It is unclear if the Minister will actually meet with any of the homeowners, although this is something they are hoping for.
Petrides’ visit was originally scheduled for Monday and then pushed to Tuesday, before being rescheduled for Thursday at 11am, ‘to allow him to spend more time in Pissouri’, said Zoi.
The Minister will first meet with the community leader ahead of a site visit and lunch meeting, which will also be attended by the Limassol District Officer, the Director of the Geological Survey Department, the Community Leader, members of the Community Board and other staff of the Minister of the Interior, she said.
Many of the affected homes have virtually collapsed, the result of a continuous and accelerating landslip and many homes are now deemed unfit for habitation. Homes and gardens are ripped apart, walls and pools are collapsing and roads split, buckled and impassable.
Desperate homeowners have long pleaded with the government for help, but to no avail. In 2015 the then Minister of the Interior, Socratis Hasikos, said it was the government’s duty to intervene, but since his resignation in May 2017, no action has been taken.
In April, the Auditor-General Odysseas Michaelides announced that the government should not essentially assume responsibly and compensate as it would set a precedent.
No insurance company will insure against landslide damage and the properties were all built by different developers.
One of the affected homeowners, Peter Field, speaking to the Cyprus Mail on Monday, said that residents are concerned whether the site visit will take place at all and that the minster may only be shown specific areas where recent, hurried repairs were carried out on roads, which had become impassable.
“Some work has been done to try and make it ‘look good’ and patched up, but it’s impossible as the destruction of homes, gardens and walls is all too obvious. They are collapsing,” he said.
Field said that homeowners had not been given any details of the impending visit by the local council and only learned of it via the community boards’ Facebook page.
“We are not going to demonstrate as we would like to have the chance to meet the Minister, show him what the situation is, calmly talk and explain,” said Field, adding that he didn’t know if this would be possible.
“It’s a practical way to show him the humanitarian aspect of our situations. We were evicted from our home over four years ago. There has been no interaction, and no help, or concern at all,” he said.