The Department of Environment gives its own position, in response to the report entitled “We will count drowned” due to the project in Chloraka, of politis.com.cy, in relation to the project for the improvement of the coast near the hotels of St. George and Laura in Chloraka. According to the announcement of the Department of Environment, no measures to protect bathers from drowning were proposed in the area because they were not observed according to the data of the competent authorities, when they are informed about the existence of strong sea currents, while reference is made to the measures taken. for the protection of the environment:
“Regarding an article in the domestic press entitled” We will count drowned due to projects in Chloraka “published on 25/1/2022, which includes reports that do not reflect substantiated data in relation to the studies evaluated and the impact assessment in environment, the Department of Environment clarifies the following for the information of the citizens.
Specifically, in 2013 the Environmental Authority strategically evaluated the Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the Plan for the protection and improvement of the coast of the northwestern coastal front of Paphos, in accordance with its provisions on Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Impact Assessment. / or Law Programs [Law 102 (I) / 2005] and issued a positive conditional opinion on 11/7/2013.
The study area of the Plan includes seven (7) sub-areas from the Lighthouse of Kato Paphos to the area of Akamas. Sub-area 3 (Hotel Akti – Hotel Cynthiana) includes the hotel area of St. George – Laura to which the article refers. In this area it was proposed the rearrangement of the existing works / breakwaters, construction of four new detached low crown breakwaters, 80-100m long. each, at sea depths of 3-4m., artificial enrichment of the beach.
No drowning protection measures were proposed in this area because they were not observed according to the data of the competent authorities. In addition to the SMP, in the context of the environmental impact assessment, additional studies such as the coastal engineering study with mathematical simulations and the marine biology report were taken into account. Among the conditions set out in this opinion were the placement of information signs to protect bathers from the presence of intense currents (rip-currents), and the taking of measures to raise public awareness of the danger that remains, such as the preparation of a relevant driver.
Subsequently, after the above opinion of the Strategic Study, in 2017 the Environmental Authority evaluated at project level the Environmental Impact Assessment Study (MEEP) for the protection and improvement of the coast near the hotels of St. George and Laura in Paphos, in accordance with his provisions on the Environmental Impact Assessment by Certain Laws [Law 140 (I) / 2005] and issued a conditional positive opinion on 7/5/2018. The project concerns the construction of a system of five detached breakwaters in order to protect the coast from erosion and improve the quality of the beach, a solution which was selected based on mathematical simulation. Among the conditions set include a coastal monitoring system.
The above studies and opinions are posted on the website of the Department of Environment from 2013 and 2017. “
It is recalled that, through the report of politis.com.cy, the Aktomhanikos, Dr. Xenia Loizidou, explained her own concerns in relation to the announced project in Chloraka, saying that a specific coast is unsuitable for bathers. The relief of the seabed has large steps (stairs) and this creates turbulent flows (suckers) in the sea. There is also a bottom, reverse current, which surface swimmers do not notice, but at the bottom – even in shallow water, about one and a half meters – can pull a person to the sea. This was the cause of many drownings in this area, noted Dr. Xenia Loizidou.
Due to the drownings that were recorded, a hotel located in the specific area was forced to demolish breakwaters, as they aggravated the problem, according to Ms. Loizidou. As he said, based on the project plan, as shown above, breakwaters will be created in the sea, with all the risks that this entails. In particular, he explained, secondary ripples are created at both ends of the breakwaters, which intensify the phenomenon of creating suction cups.