The critical points due to flood risks and the floodable sections are in the roundabout of CV-821 (which a San Vicente y Sant Joan) on the Santa Faz plaza; in the street 8 de Marzo; in Painter Velázquez; on the Salafranca area, which adjoins the entrance to the A-70 tunnel; the cover of the tunnel between Pintor Dalí and Ensenada streets; on Capiscol avenue at the intersection with Creuetes street; in Frank Espinós; the lower part of Benimagrell; the Lloixa urbanization (with fewer problems after the projection of the S collector work); in an area as central as the level crossing, at the intersection of Calle Mayor with Miguel Hernández avenues and Benidorm avenues; in the concrete pipeline next to the Aana cinemas; in Foguerer José García street, which was the layout of the old Gualeró canal; the underpass to the Carrefour shopping center; on Miguel Hernández avenue in front of the University and the Hospital; in the roads adjacent to the Nou Nazareth neighborhood and in the Camino La Princesa area.
The Emergency Plan warns that really, the risk of flooding in Sant Joan is “low”, except in very specific situations. Thus, when there are episodes of heavy intensity rains that exceed 50 liters per square meter per hour, “the municipality is affected by significant flood sheets and significant flows.”
In recent history, the most important flood that Sant Joan has suffered occurred on November 4, 1987, a cold drop that affected the area of Alicante, Sant Joan, Santa Faz and El Campello. Five years earlier, on October 20, the municipality had suffered another major flood and another of great significance occurred on September 30, 1997. That rain claimed 5 lives in Alicante. And more recent is the episode of March 2017 where 140/150 liters per square meter were registered in Alicante and its metropolitan area.
The two areas with the highest risk of flooding are the Río Seco or Monnegre; and the Juncaret-Orgegia ravine, with the highest levels of danger. The geographical morphology of Sant Joan with old channels, valleys and ravines means that when torrential rains occur, they are activated, causing flooding. The report warns that measures must be taken in what was the former Acequia del Gualeró, a historic infrastructure, whose layout has been erased as the municipality has been urbanizing. Currently, the route is interrupted at Foguerer José García street, and goes underground through the Pasaje del Gualeró. And it warns that modifications are necessary to improve drainage capacity and prevent it from overloading and overflowing, affecting nearby urban areas.
The mayor, Jaime Albero, highlights that the Emergency Plan to which the groups in the committee prior to the plenary session have already given their approval “defines the different vulnerabilities in different areas. For example, we have several channels and there we have a risk of flooding or runoff; on expressways there is a risk of accident; and in the case of festivals and parades in the urban area, the risk of crowds ”, he sums up.
The Emergency Plan also addresses actions in front of large crowds of people, especially in the case of parties.
Sant Joan presents a high risk due to mass concentration. Seven points on a scale of ten. The events with the most important crowds are the Pilgrimage of Santa Faz, in which more than 200,000 people gather; the festivities of the Santísimo Cristo de la Paz, between September 12 and 16; also the election of Queens and Ladies or the bath that the supporters celebrate on the second Saturday of July. Also the Bonfires, the Carnival and the Benimagrell, Fabraquer or Salafranca festivities. As well as the Andalusian Fair from September 6 to 8, they are potential events that involve risk.
The first mayor highlights that the Emergency Plan is useful to establish the procedure for action. And it highlights that it is an exhaustive work of the last 6 months by municipal personnel, police headquarters, security forces and bodies, firefighters and other entities that have collaborated.
The highway tunnel, a black point for traffic accidents
The tunnel of the A-70 highway that crosses Sant Joan d’Alacant, is a black point of the municipality. It has its own emergency plan, and the Plan approved this Thursday includes it as a potentially dangerous space due to large-scale traffic accidents or other emergencies inside. Built in 1990 and with a length of 1,840 meters, it is one of the tunnels with the worst ratings given its characteristics. In 2002 a European study on emergency matters by the RACC and the main European Automobile Clubs rated it as “the worst among Spanish tunnels”, and it was rated “very unsatisfactory”.
Every day it is used by an average of 60,000 drivers and, according to DGT data, 6% are heavy vehicles or vehicles that transport dangerous goods. The Emergency Plan warns that, among the deficiencies it presents, highlights the lack of video surveillance or not being able to tune into the radio or telephones inside. Currently there are improvement works planned.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.