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Costa beaches take a battering as bad weather to the east whips up the sea

The main sewage pipe under San Pedro beach was broken this week by the strong waves.
The main sewage pipe under San Pedro beach was broken this week by the strong waves. / Josele-Lanza
  • Huge quantities of sand have been eroded from Malaga's La Caleta and La Malagueta beaches due to the easterly winds

Work to clear up the Costa del Sol's beaches after the storms at the end of last year had hardly been finished before the heavy rain and high waves swept along the coast this week causing fresh damage.

Huge quantities of sand have been eroded from Malaga's La Caleta and La Malagueta beaches due to the easterly winds. Officials are contemplating having to bring sand in for the first time since full-scale conservation work was last carried out in 2010.

The effect of the four-metre waves was combined with the debris swept down the mountains by the rain, littering beaches and igniting criticism from residents over local authorities' failure to keep stream beds clean.

San Pedro beach sewerage

In Marbella, La Fontanilla beach, in the centre of the resort, has lost a significant amount of sand since last weekend, although ironically nearby El Faro beach has accumulated more sand.

However the most important damage has been done on the beach in San Pedro, where the storm has broken the effluent pipe connecting the Puerto Banús and Nueva Andalucía area with the Guadalmansa water treatment plant in Estepona.

Some 18 metres of piping have been affected as three sections of tubing have been pushed out of place by the strong waves . An emergency outflow pipe is being used to point effluent into the sea at a rate of 5,000 cubic metres a day.

Sand has been eroded as far as the promenade in Malaga.

Sand has been eroded as far as the promenade in Malaga. / Ñito Salas

Water treatment bosses expect to have repaired the damage by the end of the weekend providing the swollen seas subside, and point out that the pipe was broken in the same place last year before being repaired quickly.

Marbella council also said that the rain had moved some stones of the Senda Litoral coastal path.

All repaired by Easter?

The strong eastly winds and waves have also caused damage to infrastructure and swept away sand in the resort towns of the Axarquía and eastern Costa del Sol.

Local councils and coastal authorities across the area have stressed that they are fully committed to repairing the damage to buildings and restoring sand levels to the coast's beaches before the Easter peak tourism period in mid-April.