The red palm weevil is capable of tunnelling for over a metre into the trunks of palm trees. The leaves of affected trees then turn yellow and dry up, the effects of the palm weevil can be deadly to the trees. The Torremolinos Hospital Marítimo has several gardens whose trees have been destroyed by this insect, and many of the palm trees have had to be cut down.
The ecologist group Torrenatura is outraged by the situation and has accused the town hall and the Junta de Andalucía of being “ineffective” in solving this problem, which has already killed ten palm trees, only four of which have been cut down.
According to the group, the authorities have not followed necessary measures. As soon as the palm weevil strikes, pesticides should be applied to the tree and, if it is unable to be saved, the tree should be destroyed. Other palms in the area also need to be cut down immediately to avoid plague as, once its food source is taken away, the pest will quickly bury into a new trunk. The palm weevil will not bite people or animals.
The palm weevil is not the only problem that the hospital suffers as the building has visible deficiencies, such as cracking walls, uneven floors, rusty furniture, fallen shelves, and damp in operating rooms. These problems are difficult to salvage as the hospital is old and lacks funds. The government has promised a Centro de Alta Resolución de Especialidades (CARE) but this is yet to materialise.