Worry over tourist trade after storm hits Costa
29 March 2004
MALAGA – A huge clear-up operation was underway Monday after a storm caused widespread damage to many beaches and villages on the Costa del Sol near Malaga.
Heavy rain and driving gales caused flooding just over a week before the Easter holiday when many holidaymakers head for the Costa del Sol.
Authorities admitted they concerned tourists would cancel bookings after the bad weather.
The worst damage was seen at the town of Rincón de la Victoria where homes were left flooded and cars and belongings carried away in the storm.
The main street has been reduced to a mire of mud.
Four beaches in the tiny resort have “practically disappeared” according to authorities in Malaga.
These were La Cala del Moral, Rincón de la Victoria, Torre de Benagalbón and Los Rubios. The harbour in Rincon de la Victoria also suffered major damage
But Carlos Rubio, a spokesman for the Malaga regional government, said there had not been any “great erosion” of the rest of the coastline.
Meanwhile, seven flights were delayed Monday at Malaga airport because of problems clearing the runway after the storm.
Airport officials said delays of between one hour and 30 minutes affected flights to Madrid, Tenerife (Sur), Newcastle, Southampton, Brussels and London Gatwick.
Traditionally, many Spaniards join holidaymakers from across Europe for the Easter break on the Costa del Sol.
Juan Antonio Martín, of the Costa del Sol tourism board, said it was “early” to say if the storm would affect the tourist trade.
However, he said most tourists were from Spain during this time of year and many decided to head for the Costa del Sol at the last minute.
Better weather is also predicted over the Easter period.
Martín said authorities took seriously the damage which was done by the storm would make every effort to repair the devastation before the holiday week begins.
In June last year, the Ministry of the Environment invested EUR 10 million to repair damage done to the Costa del Sol beaches by previous storms.
One million square metres of sand was transported to 38 beaches on the coast.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news