Three Barges sink at Gran Tarajal
Storm Emma, which hit the island at the end of the month, caused three of the nine barges that were moored at Gran Tarajal to sink, with a fourth barge semi-submerged and leaking fuel. Authorities were left racing to contain the environmental impact of the damage, which left several other vessels sunken or partly sunken inside the wreckage-strewn harbour. The nine barges, that are used for transporting construction materials for marine-works on the Moroccan coast, had been granted permission to operate from the harbour until November 2018.
Steps Access to Playa de la Escalera Closed
The La Oliva Council have been forced to close access to the Playa de la Escalera (south of El Cotillo) due to the unsafe state of the steps. The councillor responsible for beaches has stated that ‘although there is still concrete, the iron structure is rusted and open to the elements and the danger of collapse is clear’. He also asked that people respect the signs and barriers, but also signalled that access to beach is not closed, only the access via the old steps. The Ayuntamiento have no record of when the stairs were built, though some locals believe that they are around 80 years old. The Ayuntamiento have stated that they are studying the possibility of installing a new set of steps.
Casa de los Coroneles to become History Museum
The Casa de los Coronoles in La Oliva is to be converted into a Fuerteventura History Museum. The 18th Century building is one of the most famous on the island and currently functions as an exhibition hall. The project will be financed by the Canary Islands Government, includes the purchase of surrounding land and buildings, and is expected to get underway in early 2019.
Costa Rica Fishing Trip
A scandal erupted in the municipality of Antigua, when a draft budget included a €10,000 subvention for local councillor, Juan Cabrera, to take part in a fishing competition in Costa Rica. Opposition parties blocked the budget, already almost 2 months late, until it was finally amended and the money reassigned for sports in the municipality.
Storm Damage and Portuguese Man-o-war
Apart from the aforementioned damage to vessels moored at Gran Tarajal, the three consecutive storms that hit the Canary Islands at the end of the month also damaged seafront buildings and terraces at Giniginámar.
The southerly winds also brought some unwelcome visitors in the form of many Portuguese Man-o-war (Physalia physalis) which were washed up on many of the island’s beaches. Although often confused with jellyfish, the Portuguese man o’ war is actually a siphonophore, a colonial organism that delivers a very painful sting to those who come into contact with its tentacles. These organisms cannot propel themselves and are transported around the open ocean by wind, and therefore tend to end up on beaches after big storms.