The initial assessment of the company that insures the community of owners of the Orihuela Costa urbanisation where two houses recently collapsed indicates as a “probable” cause of the accident an underground stream of water, the origin of which is unknown. Their assessors say that it was caused by a “geological wash,” water that is running underneath the buildings.
They add that as the stream continually flowed beneath the foundations a great deal of earth was removed, the result of which being that the weight of the buildings above eventually collapsed through the thinning subsoil.
They say that this is only their initial assessment, which has been carried out by a georadar device some distance from the houses, as the Ayuntamiento is still preventing them from having access to the site in order to carry out a more detailed investigation.
They suggest that the geological wash may have occurred in two ways, either the action of an underground flow of water or by leaks that have accumulated over the years. They also point to the breakage of a pipeline as well as to possible swimming pool leaks.
The preliminary analysis completely discounts the original suggestion that the collapse was caused by the alleged work of a private individual in one of the properties, an explanation that is said to have surprised real estate experts who say they have “seen everything” in Orihuela Costa in recent years, but have not yet witnessed the collapse of a property, and the extensive damage to another seven, as a result of illegal work inside one of the houses.
The mayor, Emilio Bascuñana (PP), was just one of the individuals blaming the collapse on domestic building work even though the impact of water leaks was already being considered by others.
A spokesman for the insurance company said “It’s really strange that the City Council does not want to let us into the properties. It gives the feeling that they want to hide something from us. We are unable to get to the truth.”
The insurer of the community, and of many of the private homes, said that while their access is being blocked, other bodies have been allowed access and have been able to carry out their own appraisals in an “informal” manner. The firm maintains that at this time it is “totally helpless because it cannot properly assess the situation. The law requires us to evaluate but we are not being allowed to do so. The people who are suffering are our clients.”
Meanwhile the Councillor of Urbanism, Rafael Almagro (PP), explained that the insurer will not be able to access the area until the municipal surveyors have concluded their own report.