An investment of 343 million euros is to be made to prevent flooding across the Vega Baja. The government’s five-year initiative comes after the devastation wreaked on the area during the 2019 DANA storm.
The September storm saw the River Segura burst its banks in several places as water rose to unprecedented levels and drainage channels struggled to cope with the torrential rains. More than 3,500 people were evacuated over three days, many losing their homes and possessions permanently. Seven people lost their lives and the storm left a trail of destruction with around 2 billion euros worth of damage.
Under the new flood prevention plans 11 projects will be undertaken to ensure the water drainage system will be able to cope with pro-longed periods of heavy rain.
Work will include improving the defences in the Rambla de Abanilla and its connection with the river Segura as well increasing its overflow capacity into the Santomera reservoir. The flooding across Orihuela in 2019 was mainly caused by the Rambla de Abanilla drainage channel, which was overwhelmed and unable to cope with the stormwater and so is a vital focus for the investment.
In addition, 107 million euros will be spent on annual flood prevention measures including the maintenance of riverbeds, the clearance of channels, and removal of sediments.
On top of that, a further €80 million has been allocated to create lamination zones and dykes in the Sierra de Albatera, Crevillente, Orihuela, and Callosa de Segura to prevent the risk of flooding. A stormwater storage area will also created to serve Pilar de la Horadada and San Pedro del Pinatar.