The mayor of Orihuela, Carolina Gracia, is another politician who is demanding ‘urgent action’ from the Segura Hydrographic Confederation (CHS) with the clearing of reeds, debris and other obstructions from riverbeds and ravines as the region looks forward to a period of mereological instability.
Indeed, just last week she travelled to the offices of Mario Urrea, the President of the CHS, where she held a meeting at the institution’s headquarters in Murcia, a gathering that was also attended by the deputy mayor of the municipality, José Aix.
The meeting was extremely cordial and although the mayor confirmed that there was no setting of deadlines or actions she did say that “we will know that next week in which areas the work will be carried out with some setting of the priorities to be determined by the municipality.”
The two parties agreed to sign an agreement that allows a more coordinated action between both administrations to reduce the risk of flooding. In Gracia’s words, “it will allow some actions to be financed with aid from the confederation, in addition to defining which areas affect the confederation and which affect the City Council.”
“We have predefined what is the responsibility of the confederation and what falls on directly on the municipality, as well as what aspects we can work on together,” said Aix, who has also called members of the public to be calm despite the possibility of a DANA: “There is nothing at this stage to indicate that we will see a DANA. Residents of the Vega Baja must be calm”.
Gracia said that “the City Council has already begun to carry out some cleaning work so that, if there is an episode of heavy rain, it does not catch us unprepared as it did before”, in reference to the torrential rains that devastated the region on 12 and September 13, 2019.
Ángel Noguera, Councillor for Infrastructure, who was also at the meeting, reported that the cleaning of the sewerage network is being intensified. Following neighbourhood complaints, he also urged the Orihuela Water Court, to clean up the Canal de Reguerón, which in 2019 flooded the district of Molins for six days.
The village mayor, Aynara Navarro, who was also present said that she had received three letters delivered to her home with threats, accusing her of not acting on this waterway, although it is not within her responsibility.
Neighbors and different municipalities criticized in recent days a certain passivity on the part of the CHS, which finally began to clear the riverbed from Guardamar to Rojales, as well as the cleaning of the Rambla del Derramador as it passes through Jacarilla .
Meanwhile the PP councillor and former mayor, Emilio Bascuñana, stated at a press conference that “three years after DANA, everything remains the same, or worse, due to the passivity of the Consell and the Government.
He said that in 2019 Orihuela suffered damage costing 550 million euros, much of which “has still not been rectified.” At the same time that he spoke of the infrastructures that are still to be repaired such as the channelling of the Rambla de Abanilla, the cleaning of the Segura riverbed, the extension of the Reguerón and the many bottlenecks in Orihuela and Rojales.
The Partido Popular has presented a motion that will be debated in plenary on Tuesday (tomorrow) to demand that the Generalitat render accounts of the actions carried out by the Vega Renhace Plan, President Ximo Puig’s star project to reactivate the region following the episode of torrential rains in 2019.