On Friday, January 21, Giannis Karousos signed contracts for projects worth a total of 6.5 million euros, in Chloraka and the Municipality of Geroskipou. According to what was broadcast by the Cyprus News Agency, the first project concerns the construction of protection and improvement works of part of the coastal front of Chloraka and, according to the design, the main elements of the project are the construction of five parallel breakwaters of about 70 meters, construction of an elevation ramp / launching of two existing cantilevers and the demolition of an existing jetty / breakwater. The above data, however, alarmed the Coastal Engineer and President of the Center for Research and Research AKTI, Dr. Xenia Loizidou, who speaks of “unacceptable environmental costs” and “risk to public safety.” The Ecologists 'Movement-Citizens' Cooperation also expressed its fear and concern, with an announcement issued on Monday.
“We will count drowned”
Ms. Loizidou, in a post on social media, wrote: “I saw in posts on Facebook, this master plan for the” upgrade “of the coast of Chloraka. I do not know what this study is and how it was approved. I see it for the first time and I am really scared, I remain speechless. On shores such as this particular western front, with its specific seabed and undulating conditions, which create permanent reverse downstream currents, such a project, in addition to unacceptable environmental costs, poses a risk to public safety. We will count drowned. I call on the authorities to reconsider these coastal projects. On the other hand, they are in complete contradiction with the government's announcements for “sustainable development”, which is our European OBLIGATION according to the Green Deal “.
Breakwaters and suckers
Speaking to politis.com.cy, Aktomechanikos explained its own concerns regarding 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.
Projects with a total cost of 6.5 million euros were signed by the Minister of Transport, Transport and Works Giannis Karousos
According to the master plan, the project to improve the coastline of Chloraka will include space for beds and umbrellas on the beach, sidewalks, stadiums and gym, to attract tourism. The breakwaters that will be created will give the swimmers a safety touch, according to Dr. Loizidou, however they themselves will be in danger in the sea, for the reasons that she mentioned above.
Destruction of dynamics
This coast of Chloraka, despite being unsuitable for bathers, offers a number of infrastructure projects for many activities, which, in fact, will contribute to sustainability. In particular, said Dr. Loizidou, it is suitable for water sports, surfing, diving tourism, fishing tourism, cycling tourism. To do all this, other types of infrastructure are needed, such as platforms, docks, diving centers and other services.
We are a country in the midst of the climate crisis, but we are still regenerating on the basis of cement, paving and, in general, hard surfaces, the scientist pointed out. Also, the creation of mountains with boulders, such as breakwaters, will cause damage to the dynamics of this coast, in which investments could be made, to attract tourism, in addition to the sunbed and umbrella, said Dr. Xenia Loizidou. .
An announcement, moreover, on the issue that seems to arise, was issued by the Movement of Ecologists-Citizens' Cooperation. According to the announcement, “the plans to upgrade the Chloraka coastline are of great concern to us, as these are projects that at first sight do not seem to ensure public safety and involve many risks, as well as environmental costs.” and the position of Dr. Xenias Loizidou, a coastal engineer with many years of experience in coastal protection and marine construction, confirms our fears about the planned coastal projects. Specifically, the destruction of the rocky terrain, in combination with the high intensity waves, create bottom currents that will endanger the bathers. In addition, these currents will remove the sand that the local authorities will place to make beaches every winter, and there will be annual sand removal processes that will affect the biodiversity of the area. ».