The Governing Board of the Molina City Council declared an area seriously affected by an emergency with the aim of acting quickly to repair all the damage caused by the rain this Thursday afternoon, which in just one hour caused great losses, especially in the countryside. de Molina, as indicated by the mayor, Eliseo García, during an appearance on Aguacate street, in the El Chorrico urbanization, an area affected by rainfall.
The rain was accompanied by hail in Campotéjar, Comala, La Albarda, El Fenazar and Los Valientes, which caused damage to 4,000 hectares of crops throughout the municipality. Most of it, some 3,300 hectares, belongs to the farmers of the Comunidad de Regantes de Campotéjar. One of his representatives, Bernardino Gomariz, explained that, in addition to crops, irrigation infrastructures were affected. Right now, according to him, it is difficult to quantify the economic damages.
Citrus crops represent just over 60% in the Community of Campotéjar, mainly lemons, tangerines and oranges. Stone fruit, such as apricot, peach, nectarine, and paraguayo, represents another 35%. According to Gomariz, “a good part of the harvest will be lost”, although he admits that there are areas that have been more affected than others because the hail fell more intensely. Table grapes, which in said community barely represent 5%, were barely affected. What is clear, according to Bernadirno Gomariz, is that in the midst of the dry season “this water is not usable.”
He also comments that farmers usually have their crops insured, but “not all”. “Generally, they guarantee insurance on extra early fruit,” according to an apostille.
In the same sense, the regional president of Coag, José Miguel Marín, indicated that significant damage has occurred in the area, where citrus and stone fruit farms have been devastated. These are peach, flat, nectarines and mandarins that were pending harvesting. Coag and other agricultural organizations are calculating the damage from this hailstorm, which adds to other previous episodes equally damaging to crops at this time of year in other regions.
The rain gauge broke
Marín explains that the rain gauge in the area stopped working in the middle of the afternoon when it already marked a record of 86 liters per square meter, which is why he estimates that 125 liters were exceeded. “A lot of stone fell,” he says.
The president of the Community of Irrigators of Campotéjar, Julio Zapata, indicates that the damage mainly affects the irrigable area that can be seen from the Cartagena-Madrid highway, from the Archena junction to Fenazar. Zapata points out that 2,000 hectares were razed and another thousand were touched.
Firefighters and emergency services had to rescue fifteen people in Huerta Abajo and thirty animals this Thursday afternoon and night, according to data provided by the mayor. The residents were offered to move to the Intergrade Center for Agricultural Training and Experiences (Cifea), as had already happened during the Dana of 2019. But they chose to stay in their homes, with concern, but confident that the forecasts for Friday did not forecast more rain.
In Huerta Arriba and Huerta Abajo, the water from Cañada Morcillo reached the houses located along the path of the boulevard. Several municipal facilities were damaged by the virulence of the water, as occurred in the social center of the district of El Fenazar. A wall of the La Consolación municipal cemetery was completely demolished and the mayor admits that it will take longer to repair.
Eliseo García stressed that what happened this Thursday “demonstrates the urgent need to undertake the projects to avoid damage from torrential rains.” Specifically, he alluded to the one that was published this Thursday in the BOE, which “will represent the construction of two large collectors in the Chorrico boulevard to divert the water towards the Los Calderones and Las Canterera boulevards. And another project, pending bidding, such as the restoration and lamination of the Mendoza and Morcillo ravines.
It rained heavily in the area of the Altorreal, La Alcayna, Los Valientes, Los Conejos and La Quinta urbanizations, located in the upper part of the municipality, which caused the water to flow down Chorrico avenue, flooding the center of the city and leaving scenes that were captured by numerous residents and, later, shared by thousands of users on social networks.
Among all those videos, two stand out. The first of them, starring a driver who, trying to cross San Juan street, was dragged by the force of the water for several meters, until he was finally able to get into an adjacent street and get to safety. It was the most viewed on social media.
The other viral video stars a woman who was carrying a child in a pushchair and who tried to cross a street where the water was coming down very strongly, which caused the child to fall to the ground. The minor was saved from being swept away by the current thanks to the intervention of a man who was in the place.
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