South East Spain Gota Fria Fund
To Help Communities Recover & Redevelop

This appeal is in response to the worst storms Spain had seen for around 100 years, it occurred in September 2019 affecting and displacing people across the South East coast. It is for these people that the appeal will benefit.

At the time of writing, this news is over a week old, but the message has not been spread about how badly the East Coast of Spain has been affected and the consequences to the people that live here.

Article written by Hazel Arnold.

This video gives you an overview of what went on during La Gota Fria
Picture by: Tetova News
On Thursday the 12th of September the South of Alicante and Murcia region got hit by La Gota Fria which means The Cold Drop as it is referred to in Spain. This weather phenomenon is common around September and October in coastal areas, although it can happen inland.
How a Gota Fria occurs is due to the vapour rising over the warm waters of the Mediterean colliding with unstable air at low levels and finally meeting with a high attitude of cold air, a cloud can form in a matter of hours. Eventually it bursts releasing torrential rain or in some cases hailstones in concentrated areas. It is often accompanied by strong winds which can reach between 60 to 100 miles per hour as well as lightning and thunder.
As the terrain in this area is very rocky the rain runs off the higher ground causing flash flooding. Rivers are prone to bursting their banks leaving a path of devastation in its wake. The effect on low lying areas can be catastrophic as the water makes its way down.

House Under Water House under water on the road to Dolores
Picture by: Ian Russell —

This was the scenario with the storm that happened here during that Gota Fria. We were in Spain when this happened, seeing and hearing the storm rage round us from inside the Villa was one thing, but what was happening outside was another. From the City of Orihuela. down to the low lying lands of Vega Baja was a wave of destruction.which was to unfold over the following days.
Spain’s AEMET weather service forecast torrential downpours of up to 90mm an hour and as much as 180mm over 24 hours.

The Segura river runs from Orihuela to Guardamar del Segura where the mouth of the river flows into the Mediterean. After 24 hours of rain the lower lying lands of Alicante province Vega Baja region were placed on red alert. The villages and towns were still accessible on Friday 13th after the storm, but as the rivers swelled eventually bursting its banks in several places making difficult or if not impossible to reach some towns and villages. The fields and more rural areas being already full of water from the storm intensified the situation.

Mud Wall A mud wall constructed by the Army and Police to create a dam.
Picture by: Ian Russell —

San Fulgencio town centre very nearly flooded but was saved by a mud wall that was built by the Army, police and locals. Houses built by the river were severely damaged when the river burst its banks, some were washed away completely, this was the case in Almoradi. I mention only two but there were many more towns, villages and rural areas that have been seriously affected due to the water rising so fast.
In the more coastal towns like Santa Pola roads turned into raging rivers taking parked cars along with them.

Guardemar Del Segura beach was damaged by a tornado combined with all the water cascading down the roads making its way to the sea. Guardamar del Segura Beach This is how the beaches got ripped up
Picture by: Ian Russell —

A week on the water slowly starts to recede with help from a trench being dug between the old river Segura and the new. This helped to release the build up of water in the lower lying areas.
The Road CV- 859 At the height of the storm this road was impassable and the village beyond was completely cut off, not to mention under water. The road (CV- 859) from San Fulgencio is only now passable ten days on. This flooded the day after the storm when the river burst its banks cutting off San Fulgencio.
Picture by Ian Russell —

Seven people tragically lost their lives during the storm. People have lost their homes, fields full of crops have been wiped out, livelihoods gone; animals like livestock cows sheep and pets have been lost and many drowned.
Over 600 Troops from the Army special brigade UME force were drafted in with special equipment to help with pumping out water. 1000 Guardia Civil were called to action along with 500 local police officers to help with evacuating and rescuing people from their homes as well as stranded drivers caught in the flood waters.
From High Ground Scene across La Marina
Picture by: Ian Russell —

Flooded Industry A flooded farmhouse or storage facility on the road to Dolores
Picture by: Ian Russell —

There has been an amazing response to help those that have lost their homes either by rehousing them on local urbanisations like La Marina coordinated by the local council asking anyone if they have spare accommodation. San Fulgencio school became a temporary home for 90 people 20 of those are babies and small children.
The school will have to be reopened at some point so a move to another location is inevitable.

Flooded It looks like a house by a lake, but this property has been flooded. It's on the road to Dolores. This occurred after the storm when the river burst.
Picture by: Ian Russell —

Requests for immediate food and bedding clothes have been answered in action from surrounding communities like La Marina, Urbanisation
The power of social media played a huge part in connecting local people together to help with rescues. Members of the public who owned 4X4’s, boats, Jet Skies and trailers all rallied to help with many rescues of people and animals, especially animals that were stranded in the rising flood waters. Often risking their own lives, It's truly humbling to see the spirit of human nature at its best.

It's too early to put a total cost on rebuilding communities, but there are lots of people that have had their lives shattered so will need help in getting their lives back on track which is going to be a long haul. Also there are many charity animal rescue centres that will have to rebuild to be able to continue with the good work they do.

Ruined Damaged by the flood, now discarded. This is at a roundabout in Dolores on the way to San Fulgencio
Picture by: Ian Russell —

On Sunday 23rd September, although the water started receding, slowly the aftermath began unfolding. We drove around Dolores and San Fulgencio and it was heartbreaking to see so many homes with stacks of furniture ruined outside on the roads.

Sheep, horses and goats that have been rescued are being kept in the village of San Fulgenco as the farms and land they were kept on are still under water. Unfortunately there was so many unlucky ones which the council have collected, to date it is over 700 animals.
Stagnant contaminated water lying around is becoming rife with mosquitoes, this all adds to the problems already being faced. Rescued Sheep Farm animals being kept safe on a street corner at the back of the village where the ground higher in San Fulgencio
Picture by: Ian Russell —

Charity Needs is governed to help other charities working in the affected area and can provide relief of financial need and suffering among victims of natural or other kinds of disasters in the form of money (or other means deemed suitable) for persons, bodies, organisations and / or countries affected.
Our task is to raise as much awareness as we can internationally so we can raise funds to help those charities and communities that have suffered as a consequence to this disaster.

Any funds raised will be transparently recorded to keep the public updated on the steps and measures we take in our quest to help. If this story has touched you in any way and you can help, then please make a donation of support. We have included a donate button and also ask that you share this article far and wide.

Thank You

Karting Track Local Go-Kart track near Guardaamar del Segura underwater
Picture by: Ian Russell —

This is a CNF News Article

This page is embeddable, click for code
Head/Cover picture by: Picture by: Ian Russell —
Head/Cover image description: Birds Eye view of some of the flooding at La Marquesa Golf Course Rojales, but the image does not justify the appalling conditions taken on Friday 13th September after the storm that thursday
Article written by: Hazel Arnold
Article edited by:
Article Length: Words count is 1165 from 6402 characters
Released — 1st-October-2019 at 06:00
Modified — Never

Closing Credits from CNF:

  • CNF Is In Support:
    Charity Needs Foundation is in support of the affected communities for the long term and we'll be bringing you news regularly on the progress.


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