Cyprus Mail

Paphos cleans up after storm

File photo: Municipal workers clearing drains

By Andria Kades

Authorities in Paphos were left struggling to clear up the mess on Friday caused by the previous day’s torrential rain.

Having received a total of 60 calls for help throughout all of Thursday, the fire service was trying to clear out cars from streets that closed off after vehicles were trapped due to the severity of the flooding.

Paphos mayor Phedon Phedonos, however, said the problem was not widespread and had only hit problematic areas.

“This isn’t a general problem, 95 per cent of homes are not facing any problems or even 98 per cent,” he told state radio attributing the problems to six specific points across town.

The fault, he said, lies with the fact that the drainage network across Paphos is adept for a smaller quantity of water per hour.

Excessive winds that blow leaves, twigs and waste – often littered by inconsiderate citizens – block the drains and make the problem worse, he added.

Phedonos said that works to assess the cost of correcting the problem will begin imminently, but he could not say when the problem could be fixed.

“We might not be able to repair it in the next month or the cost may be too large and we might not be able to fix it now but we need to record it, cost estimate it and start fixing these problems.”

Paphos fire chief Spyros Papamichail said the cause of the floods was twofold. Firstly, the water collection network is undoubtedly problematic in certain areas, and secondly there was heavy rainfall in a very short period of time.

Urging authorities to take pre-emptive measures such as keeping the streets clean, he also called on citizens to do their part, not parking their vehicles over drains and not throwing litter around that prevent water from reaching the drains.

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