South Cyprus authorities are going to ask for millions of euros from EU funding to try and save two of the South’s most popular tourist spots whose beaches completely disappeared over a two-day period in December. There is speculation that this may have been caused by an earthquake which occurred off South Turkey in December.
Many businesses and locals rely on tourism for a living and it appears that their livelihoods could be lost this summer if nothing is done.
Polis campsite, one of the two beaches, has been seriously affected by the loss of 40 metres of sandy beach which has fallen into the sea, leaving a sudden drop at the sea’s edge.
At the local Latsi cafe, beachside seating areas are teetering on the brink of a sandy ledge close to the water, which used to be 40 metres away before the mystery erosion. In both cases there is no longer a beach.
A large number people on the island, especially north of Paphos, felt the earthquake which registered 6.2 on the Richter scale on 28th December and emanated off the coast of Turkey,
What remains of the blue-flag beach, which is usually visited by thousands of holiday makers every year, only stretches from the seaside café to where the one lifeguard tower remains – the other disappeared into the sea.
Although coastline erosion has been a recognised problem in the area for a number of years, officials say the speed with which that stretch of coast disappear was hard to comprehend.
The head of the governments Public Works department’s coastal engineer, Stelios Zevros, visited the area and said:
“There has been a problem with coastal erosion here for some time, but nothing to this extent. This is why there is a master plan in place to construct 14 breakwaters to protect the coastline.”