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Study pegs 19 flood danger spots.


Jacqueline Agathocleous

A STUDY has pinpointed 19 riverside areas around the island as high risk spots for floods, which could cause death and destruction unless something is done, lawmakers heard yesterday.

"The results of a study by the Water Development Department for a preliminary assessment of flood risks, following a 2007 European Directive, seems to be sounding the alarm bells over 19 areas that are in danger of sinking in the event of a storm", DISY MP Efthymios Diplaros told the House Agriculture Committee.

"Even though many of these rivers, which have been deemed high risk in terms of floods, don't have a particular flow today, this study showed there is real danger of them taking everything with them in the event that they overflow a" a danger that is visible and needs to seriously concern us," he added.

According to the deputy, construction permits are often approved to build houses in very close proximity to these rivers. "Debris and other rubbish are uncontrollably and unconscientiously thrown on their banks, resulting in the dangers of a flood being magnified," said Diplaros.

In November 2006, George and Maria Miltiadous a" parents of two from Paphos a" were tragically killed when they were swept over a bridge in Kissonerga by a flash flood.

Maria was found the day after the accident, while mud and heavy rainfall made it hard for over 100 rescuers to locate George. His body was found immersed in mud over a week later.

A few weeks earlier, a mudslide ploughed through a Paphos hotel, with guests miraculously escaping injury.

Serious questions were raised at the time regarding the safety of the area, and many blamed planning authorities and construction companies for cutting corners, not following the correct regulations and, as a result, creating an unsafe residential environment.

"We have seen human lives being lost in the forceful waters of a storm, houses being flooded and businesses being destroyed, due to the weakness of some to take effective measures to prevent such phenomena," Diplaros said yesterday.

He called on the Water Development Department, Agriculture and Interior Ministries to prepare a complete action plan to deal with possible floods.

"Now, before it is too late," said Diplaros. "Before we mourn victims and, crying over the sunken wreckage, appoint committees to find out who is to blame."

In Nicosia, the list of high-risk spots includes the Pedieos and Klimos rivers in Engomi, Parapotamos Merika in Kokkinotrimithia, Kalogeros Rivers in Strovolos and Latsia, Koutis and Katouris rivers in Paliometocho and Agii Trimithias, and Almyros - Alykos in Dali's industrial estate. There is also Yialias that flows through Pera Chorio Nisou and Dali. Komitis and Ammos Rivers in the Nicosia district too.

Paralimni Port is also in the list, as are Ormidia River in Larnaca village Ormidia, Archangelos-Kamitsis and Parapotamos that runs through Livadia and Aradippou, and Tremithos in Kiti Pervolia.

In Paphos, there are Koshinos, Limnarka and Argaki tou Vasilikou. And in Limassol the rivers Yermasogia, Vathias, Garylli and Markettou-Ypsonas are listed.

Construction permits are often approved to build houses in very close proximity to these rivers.

Copyright [c] Cyprus Mail 2012

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Article Type:Report
Date:Jan 20, 2012
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