Campanillas flood damage will run into millions

Cars damaged by floods in Campanillas.
Cars damaged by floods in Campanillas. / S. SALAS
  • The Casasola dam helped avoid a worse tragedy however locals criticised the authorities this week for not providing enough support on the ground

Residents in an outlying district of Malaga city have been counting the cost of extensive flood damage last weekend.

Emergency services, council workers and locals have been working all week to get back to normal in the Campanillas area, near the technology park between the city centre and Cártama. On Saturday morning water poured into homes and garages during heavy rains across the Guadalhorce valley.

Early estimates from insurers are that 6.6 million euros of damage was caused on the Costa del Sol in the freak weather, with 1,200 potential claims. These are mostly in Campanillas but also in nearby Torremolinos, Cártama, Coín, Alhaurín de la Torre and Marbella.

On Wednesday local officials visited damaged homes in Campanillas along with deputy prime minister, María Jesús Montero.

Many residents complained to the visitors that they were receiving little support and asked for more people to help out. In reply, Montero said that aid had been approved so that "families can sort out what they have lost in financial terms, although, unfortunately, in personal terms, [the damage] cannot be put right." She added that aid across Spain for flood victims in last week's Storm Gloria should start to be paid out this week.

Two local schools remained closed all week after the Campanillas river, a tributary of the Guadalhorce river, burst its banks, filing them with water.

Officials said at a public meeting that the situation was not more serious in the Campanillas area as the Casasola reservoir dam upstream had held back the worst of the runoff water from the hills.

However some residents were skeptical that the dam gates had not been opened at the peak of the storm, when rain was falling at the rate of 50mm an hour.

Sole Serrano, owner of a local florists was affected by the flood. "Now we have to start again from scratch; the water has taken everything we had," she said on Sunday.