I don’t think that many of us were prepared for the terrible storm which hit Paros at the end of March as Poseidon and Zeus appeared to emulate the morning’s parades by displaying all the forces at their disposal for Greek Independence Day. On the night of the 25th, the heavens enacted an awe-inspiring performance over the Aegean with winds gusting at more than 12 Beaufort, thunder, lightning, heavy rain, hail and perilously rough seas. By the early hours of the morning Piso Livadi was alive with fishermen and boat owners trying to save their craft. However, despite their efforts many boats were either badly damaged or totally wrecked as they crashed together powerless against the opposing forces of nature.
The high seas breached the harbour wall, flooding local businesses and depositing sections of broken boat and debris everywhere. The next morning, residents had the unenviable task of cleaning up the mess. Some fishermen whose boats had sunk had to dive beneath the water to see if there was any hope of salvaging their vessels. A few small boats could be refloated after digging out the silt, but many were beyond help, which resulted in the sad sight of lorries carrying much-loved boats away in pieces.
The storm also wreaked havoc in the ports of Paroikia and Naoussa with roads and harbour-front premises flooded. In Paroikia the new paved areas became lakes fed by fast-flowing streams formerly known as streets. A swollen underground river also caused many problems for OTE. Meanwhile in Drios, the storm weakened the already eroded coastline and the following week a large section of the coastal path fell into the sea. This was probably a disaster waiting to happen, as many residents had commented on how the cliff was being worn away. Despite the best efforts of the local Koinotita, who had built a section of much-needed sea wall, still the remaining unprotected area was reclaimed by Poseidon. It is understood that plans are in the process of being drawn up to build more sea defences at Drios, possibly by piling up chunks of stone to look more aesthetically pleasing than the existing expanse of concrete.
Editor’s Note: Is coastal erosion a problem where you are? Please, tell us about it and/or send in a photograph.