By Bejay Browne
PAPHOS has been hit by high winds and heavy rain but the town has escaped major damage, according to the local fire services.
“There have been a number of minor instances and two trees falling due to the high winds, but thankfully nothing like the damage experienced during previous periods of stormy weather,” Paphos fire station’s Stelios Nestoras, told the Cyprus Mail.
The station Inspector said that an incident concerning the first tree occurred close to a school in Yeroskipou at around 3am on Tuesday morning. The second incident took place at around 7am, where a tree fell close to the law courts in central Paphos.
“We safely removed the trees and branches and no other damage has been reported so far,” he confirmed.
Huge waves battered the Paphos coastline overnight and continued during Tuesday morning and caused a number of small problems at the main coastal road which runs parallel to Potima Bay in Kissonerga. This was mostly due to shale and small rocks being strewn across it, according to the community leader George Stylianou.
He said on Tuesday: “Gravel was deposited on the road by the sea and we reported this to the public works department. It is their responsibility to clean it up, but I also spoke to our staff to go down and check, just in case they don’t clear it .If this is the case, we will deal with it, the most important thing is that the area is safe.”
The road has been damaged during previous bouts of inclement weather; in February last year drivers experienced hazardous conditions, as huge waves again lashed the seafront road at Potima Bay. This section of road (which runs from Paphos to Coral Bay) was closed and a two-kilometre detour took drivers through the nearby banana plantations.
Stylianou said that this stretch of road always poses a high risk of accident during story weather and noted that it highlighted the need for long awaited wave barriers to be constructed in the sea off the coast. He said that the sea wall doesn’t do enough to prevent flooding.
“They (the government) have placed rocks close to the road to help protect it, without this the sea would go all the way to the mountain during bad weather, but instead of placing them here they need to be in the sea.”
Stylianou said that the government has stalled this much needed work saying that plans for the proposed marina in the area had to get the go ahead first.
An announcement by Aristo Developers in December last year, confirmed that the long-awaited marina project will soon get underway, following a ruling by the Supreme Court.
“We are demanding wave breakers to protect the area, the plan is for ten of them to be constructed in the sea which will be a great help. As the marina has recently got the go ahead, there now needs to be a process to calculate how its construction will affect the currents in the area and then the wave barriers can proceed.”
Stylainou said that Kissonerga believe that the barriers should be constructed a soon as all of the marina plans are approved.
“This way construction can be completed within the same time frame and offer much needed protection before any serious accidents occur.”