23 April 2014 12:26

 Polis Chrysochous Municipality is taking measures to restore damage to two of its most popular beaches before the summer tourist season kicks off.
Speaking to The Cyprus Daily yesterday, Polis Mayor Angelos Odysseos confirmed that the Polis camping site beach as well as the beach in front of the Porto Latchi restaurant suffered devastating erosion caused by freak wave activity following a powerful earthquake off Turkey’s coast in January.
“The damage that these beaches have suffered is catastrophic and they will soon be completely inaccessible to visitors without the measures we are taking to prevent further erosion.”
At certain points, according to the mayor, seawater has advanced by around 40 metres while the golden sand where bathers would lay in the sun is almost completely washed away.
Odysseos explained that the erosion did not take place gradually due to rising sea levels but happened in the space of three weeks immediately after the earthquake.
“It was not something we anticipated. It happened very quickly and it is important that we now restore the beaches while we examine measures to prevent future erosion.”
After recently inspecting the two blue-flagged beaches, coastal engineers from the public works department have advised the municipality on the measures to take to repair the damage.
“We have already launched a tender for these two projects and we are hoping that the work will begin next month.
“Our aim is for the beaches to be fully restored before the beginning of the summer season.”
The mayor noted that the erosion countermeasures will be temporary and completely environmentally friendly.
“We can confirm that the work will only cause a minor disruption for bathers and is designed to not cause any further damage to the surrounding environment. This was one of our main concerns when formulating an action plan.”
The cost of the erosion countermeasures is not expected to surpass €70,000.
Paphos municipality in 2008 launched a coastal master plan to protect its beaches through the construction of 14 breakwaters around the coastline.
To date, only four breakwaters have been installed near to Latchi harbour after the plan was shelved due to a lack of available funds.


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