Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Rain, rain go away

Rock fall damage

Police keep an eye on a country road as rising water from a nearby river overflows its banks

A road subsides after rain washed away the earth below it

Here comes the next borrasca, that fluffy white bit just left of Spain. Taken by Aemet at 5pm yesterday. Storm came in last night.

HOW can it be that me being such a weather friki (Spanish street-speak for freak) I haven't managed to post a single entry about southern Spain's wettest winter since records began. Which, down here on the coast, wasn't actually that long ago, though I have failed to find a record of when they began. If you follow me. Around the mid 1900s I believe.
I haven't written a word - and there has been a huge amount to say - about the trenes de borrascas (low pressure 'trains') that have steamed across the Iberian peninsula from the Atlantic since before Christmas.
One storm after another, with barely a weak ray of sunshine in between, has made this winter a sodden and, for those who lost loved ones, a tragic one. In Andalucía an elderly Spanish lady died from a heart attack as her house filled with water in January and a British couple was crushed to death recently when the roof of their home fell in on them.
In a nutshell here are the other sadly eloquent figures:
150% up on the average rainfall.
205 million euros of damage to roads alone (no figures in for agriculture or homes yet)
Serious damage to 107 beaches, from Huelva to Málaga, that will not be repaired before the summer and which will mean loss of income for many already-financially stretched families, over the Easter holidays.
70 towns and villages flooded at different times.
700 homes have had to be evacuated - some have been flooded; others have been demolished by landslides or rock falls. And we're still counting...
2,000 people affected.
20% more animal deaths.
965 road cuts
Sun forecast this weekend. Let's hope it stays next week as well.