Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Who is to blame?

Francisco Camps, Executive of the PP and the socialist Government of Jose Luis Zapatero are blaming in each other for the devastating effects of the floods that have affected the north of Alicante (1,200 flooded houses and 1,500 damaged cars).

University critics and and technical experts have already questioned the frenetic city-planning developments experienced in the Valencian Community. Now the minister of Medio Ambiente, Cristina Narbona, who is on an official trip to China, says, " if the Administrations responsible for the arrangement of the territory and urbanism continue to overwhelm the territory with building, they make it difficult for rainwater to be absorbed, forcing it to create new river channels".

On the other hand, the Economic Vice-President of the Consell, Gerald Camps of the PP party says that the responsibility lies with the Hydrographic Confederation of the Júcar, who he claims have not kept the drainage channels clean. The PP maintains, in their defense of urbanisation, that the problems have not been in newly constructed zones on the flood plain but rather in those areas that were constructed before democratisation.

Cristina Narbona has pointed out that the annual budget for cleaning and conservation of water channels in the Valencian Community is 450,000€. In all 22million euros are spent in Spain annually to create new water channels and clean existing ones. Pictures on the television however show the amount of debris that was blocking the water channels of the Girona.

The main culprit though was the freak weather. This area expects a Gota Frias about once every ten years. The rain this year though has been exceptional, especially in the area of the Marina Alta. Weather experts say that Gota Frias, as devastating as those we are experiencing this year, can be expected perhaps once every 3 to 400 years.

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