The floods of ’89

November 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Posted in General | Leave a comment
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With rain lurking on the horizon, it seems apt to recall the devestating floods that occurred on this day 22 years ago. Over 40 lives were lost in, and around,  Malaga as flash floods inundated large swathes of the countryside. Over 150 millimetres of rain fell in a few hours along both the Guadalmedina and Guadalhorce rivers. While raging torrents swept through old parts of Malaga when the Guadalmedina overflowed it’s banks, the Guadalhorce floodplain became more quietly  submerged under a lake of brown muddy water.  Floodplains are, by definition, the overspill areas for excess water, but the development of industrial estates and housing exacerbated an already serious situation. To make matters worse, a strong ‘Levante’ (east-southeasterly wind) pushed the sea towards the coast and helped to prevent the flood waters from dispersing. Although the heaviest rain fell on the 14th, flooding continued for many more days as the wet weather persisted. Over 400 millimetres of rain fell in the Malaga area during the 10 days beginning on the 14th, and the total for the month was over 500 millimetres! Hopefully, the massive project that was undertaken to tame the Rio Guadalhorce will continue to be successful for many years to come.

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