Cyprus Mail

Recent quake erodes Polis beaches

By Angelos Anastasiou

Polis Chrysochous’ main tourist attractions have been dealt a blow by the recent earthquake off Turkey’s coast, which caused two of the three tourist beaches in the area to vanish under advancing seawater.

The ‘beach of eucalyptus trees’ at the Polis Chrysochous camping site, as well as the beach next to the Latchi port, both in the Paphos district, have essentially disappeared as the seawater has advanced by some 40 metres.

Tonnes of sand are reported to have shifted, dramatically altering the coastline’s geography. A plantation and an old National Guard machine-gun spot, previously located approximately 40 metres away from the coast, are now in the water, reports from the area say.

The stretch of now-underwater land exceeds 40 metres in length, and the eroded beach has left gaping chasms up to three metres deep in some parts.

Polis Chrysochous mayor Angelos Georgiou Odysseos characterised the event as a “biblical catastrophe”, and said that “the erosion has taken place over the last 15 days.”

Odysseos called for coastal engineers from the public works department to be dispatched to the area in order to formulate ways of repairing the damage and erosion to the beaches caused by the recent earthquake near Turkey and the ensuing rough seas.

The damage to Polis Chrysochous’ coastline is not limited to the two beaches as other parts have also been damaged, although not to the same extent.

“The beaches, both awarded the Blue Flag [for quality by the Foundation for Environmental Education], are now inaccessible to the public and tourists, and have effectively been destroyed, so we call on the state for restoration works to begin immediately,” the mayor said.

In a letter delivered to the head of the Coastal Engineering branch of the public works department Stelios Zevros during a meeting yesterday, Odysseos said that the branch, in collaboration with local authorities, can move swiftly to repair the damage in order to reinstate accessibility to the beaches, which he described as the area’s “most attractive tourist feature.”

Following the meeting, the Polis mayor commended Zevros for his receptiveness, having committed to dispatching a team of coastal engineers to perform a review within the next few days, as well as public works deputy head Nikos Iacovou who was quick to set up yesterday’s meeting following an appeal for help by Odysseos one day earlier.

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