The Orihuela PSOE Councillor Maria Garcia has said that in March 2017 a report was received in the town hall, which warned of “an erosive phenomenon that affects the walls of the Orihuela Costa coastal cliff face, which represents a potential medium to long term risk” in which it also advised that the only solution would be the introduction of breakwater walls.
It can now been seen that not only is the coastal walkway at risk through inclement weather and erosion but so are the frontline properties, many of which sit dangerously close to the edge of the rock face.
Although work to shore up the cliff face was executed last year, at a cost of just over 180,000 euros, they could not prevent the damage that was caused during the recent heavy rains, although the mesh did prevent the falling rocks from invading the path.
The report states that there “the existence of a structural erosion phenomenon along the entire coastline, affecting the walls of the cliff” which leaves cantilevered the upper layers, something that generates a double potential risk, the collapse of the overhangs, onto users walking below and something that, until now has not been made public, the risk to the properties that are situated above, many of which extend to the very edge of the protection zone of the Costas.
In some cases the owners have taken remedial measures themselves, says the report, such as the construction of vertical support walls, “But in others we have been able to verify that the structure is extremely weak as it is only supported on calcareous (chalky) outcrops, which offer little underpinning.”
The situation is not helped, says the report, by swimming pools which are located too close to the cliff or by the garden irrigation systems in some of those properties. In fact, there are several that have water outlets that drain directly onto the cliff.
The PSOE unveiled the document after a large block of stone fell onto part of the Cabo Roig walkway with the councillor asking the Department of Urbanism why they had done nothing about it in the 18 months since publication. She said the report states that “the placement of geogrids are able to reinforce the small erosive detachments, but they are not a sufficient or suitable technical solution in the face of the massive erosion that the cliff face is currently facing.”