Monday, September 30, 2019

Playing to his hand

Since becoming Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has had a rough time of it. He's lost seven votes in the Commons, been accused of misleading the Queen by the Supreme Court, has been accused of inciting violence with his language and will face investigatioins both whilst he worked at the Spectator and whilst he was Mayor of London. At the Spectator, in 1999, he allegedly groped a reporter's thigh. and whilst he was Mayor, he approved grants to an American lady who, it is claimed, he had a sexual relatioinship with.

Most people would have cracked by now and asked, "is it worth it" but Johnson is on a mission to "get Brexit done" by any means possible. He may or may not have ulterior motives but again that is just speculation.

Faced with all the bad publicity, you would think that his popularity and that of the Tory Party would have declined but apparently that is not true according to various polls. It seems that there are swathes of the British public who like him and are prepared to dismiss any allegations made about him. Some causually brush off his misdemeanours and say, "that's just Boris".

Boris likened himself to the Hulk and warned that making him angry makes him stronger and he may have a point there.  They say that there is no such thing as bad publicity and mybe that is true of Boris Johnson.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

As if being flooded out wasn't enough

As the flood waters subside, they leave pools of water - the perfect breeding ground for tiger mosquitoes. We are advised to make sure there are no such breeding grounds around our houses.

In Bigastro, the Council have already engaged a company to fumigate public areas where the standing water would provide places where the females will lay eggs.

As we know, it is the females who will bite to suck the blood they need to give them strength. Tiger mosquito bites are particularly nastty. 

Too close for comfort

It was impossible to comprehend the force of water that was devasting our town. It is only in retrospect that we have videos that show just how bad it was.

In this video, posted on Facebook, you can see the raging torrent that swept down Avenida Europa. For those people, living by the path of the water, it must have been terrifying to look ouit and see this much water and the speed that it was travelling.

Just down the road

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Little has changed

In this photo posted by MeteoOrihuela you can see that there is little difference between the extent of flooding in 1946 (top photo) and 2019 (bottom photo).

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The problems continue

The situation today

Beyond imagination.

Getting to Orihuela

The N-332  is likely to be closed shortly as it passes through Guardamar due to overflow of irrigation canals. The CV-920 from Guardamar to Rojales, by the "Rincon de Luna" has already been covered with water but remains open to traffic, so it is recommended to drive slowly and with caution.

Today, the open access roads to Orihuela are the following:

From Alicante, Elche, Crevillente , etc., the A7 motorway to the Redován exit, then continue on the N-340 National road to the Renault roundabout, then on the CV-930. Continue on CV-930 to Los Huertos road, where you will access Orihuela. Finally on Duque de Tamames Street, Francisco Tormo de Haro to  Ociopía shopping centre. Also possible to go by  the N-340 to the Ociopía shopping centre.

From Murcia , Highway A7, exit through the municipality of Santomera to join the N-340 (Murcia-Alicante), arrival to Ociopía shopping centre.

From Torrevieja CV-95 to Bigastro, take a detour along CV-923 to Hurchillo and from there to Arneva. Once in Arneva, take the Tubes del Trasvase road to CV-921 (Arneva road), finally arriving at Oriolanos Ausentes street to take Tormo de Haro street and from there to the Ociopía shopping centre.

From Jacarilla and Benejúzar , the same itinerary as from Torrevieja, departing from Bigastro.

From Mojón and Zeneta, take CV-923, to Arneva, then take CV-921 to Orihuela, Oriolanos Ausentes street, Tormo de Haro and finally Ociopía.

From Callosa de Segura , take Rafal direction to San Bartolomé and along the CV-91 to La Campaneta and Orihuela.

From Beniel to Orihuela , by road CV-915.

From Albatera, Cox, Farm, etc. , use N-340 to the Renault roundabout, where the CV-930 will be incorporated. Continue on CV-930 to Los Huertos road, where you will access Orihuela. Finally, through the Prince of Asturias Street, Duke of Tamames, Francisco Tormo de Haro until arrival at the Ociopía shopping center. You can continue instead of the beltway, by the N-340 to the tunnel and Ociopia.

La Murada, Abanilla, etc. , take the Virgin road from the road to the National Highway N-340, we will continue to the Renault roundabout, where the CV-930 will be incorporated. Continue on CV-930 to Los Huertos road, where you will access Orihuela. Finally on Duque de Tamames Street, Francisco Tormo de Haro until arrival at Ociopía shopping center. You can continue instead of the ring road, along the N-340 to the tunnel and Ociopia.

From Redován , the CV-900 road along the Escorratel to the N-340, where the Renault dealership, where the CV-930 will be incorporated. Continue on CV-930 to Los Huertos road, where you will access Orihuela. Finally, on Avenida Principe de Asturias, Duke de Tamames, Francisco Tormo de Haro until arriving at the Ociopía shopping center. You can continue instead of the ring road, along the N-340 to the tunnel and Ociopia.

N-340 road tunnel passing through Orihuela, open both ways.

From Montepinar and La Matanza take the A7 motorway to the Redován exit, where you will take N-340 to Tunnel and Ociopía, or CV-930 to Los Huertos road, where you will access Orihuela. Finally, on Avenida Principe de Asturias, Duke de Tamames, Francisco Tormo de Haro until arriving at the Ociopía shopping center. You can continue instead of the ring road, along the N-340 to the tunnel and Ociopia.

On the Tubos del Trasvase road there are several points of difficulty. They recommend not to pass especially in the double curve of Reguerón and at the height of the Middle Way.

The CV-925 (Orihuela-Hurchillo), the CV-95 section from Bigastro to Orihuela, the CV-920 from Molins and from Barrio Mariano Cases are cut. From Almoradí, Dolores, Catral, etc. without service so far, as well as from Benejúzar to San Bartolomé.

Access to the A7 from Orihuela is cut , you must take it from Santomera or from Redován.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Poco a poco

Slowly, day by day a sense of normality returns. Roads that were closed for days are gradually being cleared and reopened.

The schools in Bigastro and public buildings will reopen today.

The Sports Centre though is still under water and so remains closed.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Hearts of Gold

The congregation at the Salt Church in Los Montesinos, via Sheila Rowlands who lives on our estate, have sent some food and cleaning materials for the people in Bigastro who have need at this terrible time.

They say that, if we let them know, they will collect further anything that is needed to help.

It is at times like these when we see the best in people. Many thanks to Sheila and the congregation on behalf of the people of Bigastro.


For those who have suffered damage or loss due to the recent bad weather, it is important to make a claim as soon as you can. 

The Insurance Compensation Consortium operates an Extraordinary Risk Insurance system which you can use.

How to claim

Basic needs

Hiperber Supermarket in Bigastro say that they will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. today.
They have stocks of bottled mineral water.

It is ironic that, after all the rainwater that flooded down into the town, that there is now a problem with water. It is because the pipework has been damaged in the streets affected. Likewise, there were houses that did not have electricity.

Yesterday, the Town Hall arranged to have tankers in the street with water for those affected.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

A disaster

The situation is as bad as it gets.

 When Pam and I went down to get some food, we could have wept at the sights we saw.

 There are many parts of the town without water and electricity. The fire brigade and the Unidad Militar de Emerencias are busy pumping out water from houses and basements and people are busy clearing out the ruined items from their houses.

Many streets are closed including the roads to Jacarilla and the road to Hurchillo. The latest call for help is for volunteers to assist on Calle Príncipe de Asturias.

Pictures from other nearby towns are, if anything, worse. Redovan and Almoradi for example are facing severe problems.

Our hearts go out

We are very fortunate that, living on a hill as we do. Pam and I were spared most of the awful effects of this bad weather. Although it was very worrying watching and hearing the storms develop, Pam and I suffered no more that a full pool that needed lowering and a few hours of lost sleep.

The same cannot be said for those living on lower land which is now completely flooded. Many have lost cars, furniture, possessions etc etc. The waters will gradually subside in the days to come but the damage will take much longer to repair and the possessions longer to replace.

The blessing is that most Spaniards are stoical and at the same time caring. They will help each other to recover from this incident and hopefully it will just become a bad memory for those that were effected.

The latest message from the Mayor:

The Emergency situation is still active.

All notices communicated by the RRSS of the City of Bigastro are still active.

I beg you to be attentive to the communications that are issued from the City Council.

We must remain calm and show our solidarity with our neighbours in our town and the rest of the region affected by this terrible situation we are living.

As the day progresses, we will receive support from the resources authorised by the provincial, regional and national public administrations for the work of water drainage and cleaning of flooded areas.

It is at these times when we must demonstrate the solidarity and responsible character that characterises the people of Bigastro.

The aftermath



Friday, September 13, 2019

Is there no end to this?

The advice is not to go out unless you really have to. Bigastro is still in lock down with the roads closed. In case of a medical emergency, call 112. The industrial estate is closed, the Metro roundabout is impassible as is the new one at General Banuls.

Notice from the Bigastro Town Hall to residents, especially those on Calle Thomas Villanueva: the emergency services are preparing to evacuate those people in flooded houses. Advice is to phone 112 for assistance and to go up as high as you can.

In Redovan, they are appealing for anyone with a 4x4 vehicle to help rescue people who are trapped in flooded houses.

The river Segura has started to overflow in Orihuela so the situation there is even worse. Looking at my pool, it is about to overflow even though I dropped the water level yesterday. So much rain, where is it coming from and when will it end?

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Take heed folks

Don't even try to go there

In case you thought of going to Orihuela:-

The Local Police of Orihuela has informed at 12 noon. that all access roads to the town centre are cut off to the circulation of vehicles.

The local police here in Bigastro are telling people who have cars in the underground car park at La Paz to move them pronto because it is in danger of flooding.

On Facebook you will find videos of flooding in various towns including Callosa Del Segura. No doubt that Torrevieja will be flooded. There is even a video showing sewerage coming up through the toilets at Vega Baja Hospital and one of a stock of new cars at a garage that are under water.

The best advice is to stay indoors with a book. If there is a break in the rain, it might be the chance to let the dog out for a toilet stop!

Update: If you were thinking of going into Bigastro, forget it - the local police have closed all the roads in the centre of town. Folks, this is bad. 

Surely enough is enough

Prime Minister Johnson has faced a baptism by fire during his first weeks in office.

  • He lost 6 votes in the House of Commons. 
  • He sacked 21 of of his MPs including ex Cabinet Ministers and the grandson of Winston Churchill. 
  • He lost further MPs from his party including his own brother and now commands a minority. 
  • He has been found guilty of lying to the Queen by a Scottish Court. 
  • He was accused of using an address in front of Police cadets for political purposes. 
  • He has made it clear that he is prepared to break the law and ignore orders from Parliament.
  • He has been shown to have lied to the public about the effects of a no deal Brexit - "vanishingly inexpensive" and "bumps in the road" as he called them. 
  • He refuses to release documents, emails, messages etc that would prove he was prepared to lie to the Queen.  
  • etc etc. 


The first rainfall of this episode of Isolated Depression in High Levels (DANA) that is moving from sea to land last night came to the Vega Baja region dropping up to 40 litres per square metre in Torrevieja, 30 litres per square metre in Orihuela and  more than 20 litres per square metre in locations such as Bigastro, Almoradí and Callosa de Segura.

In the coming hours, the rains will gain in intensity and extent in the south of the province of Alicante, so the 'red' alert of the State Meteorological Agency will be maintained.

All the municipalities of the Vega Baja have decided to suspend the teaching day in schools as well as outdoor activities and in municipal centres on Thursday.

The weather will change as the day progresses, we could have periods of calm followed by heavy rain and thunder. Tomorrow will be much the same and then things should start to calm down on Saturday.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Rainy days ahead



Saturday, September 07, 2019

A very sad day

Antonio was a great friend to many. He taught most of the young people in the town whilst he was at the local primary school and he taught us Spanish.

We will miss him dearly and wish that he was still here.