May 31, 2023

By Hughjarrs…..

The immense flooding in Pakistan is yet another reminder of the power of nature and that it has a total disregard for the cares of humankind. It is also a reminder that here, in Cyprus, we should be preparing now for the winter storms to come. This year there were record marine heatwaves off the coast of Corsica, Sardinia, and in the eastern Mediterranean with sea water temperatures in excess of 30ºC. Apart from damaging marine life, this vast oceanic store of energy is likely to increase the strength of winter storms possibly fuelling a rare but powerful “medicane”. Winds could exceed 100+ k.p.h. and intense rainfall of 20-40 centimeters could fall in just a few hours, as happened a few years ago.

Storm damage pictures courtesy of TFR

This would cause landslides on the hillsides now stripped of vegetation; flooding would occur where no or inadequate drainage has been provided. Roads and housing would be swamped with sewage and muddy filth where overwhelmed drains and culverts have become filled with silt, rubbish, plants, and builders dumped debris.

Medicane storm off Greece

They say “fix your roof while the sun shines”. That applies equally to our drainage systems if damage to property and deaths on the roads are to be avoided. Developers and municipalities have got the heavy equipment to clear the big blockages on their territory and create drainage ditches in vulnerable spots. We humble citizens have our spades and barrows to clear out the smaller conduits on our patches. Get them working before the deluge. The storms won’t wait for you to be ready!

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