“We live with the worry that the same thing will happen again”
Tarragona is recovering little by little from the storm that discharged 160 mm of water on the afternoon of Santa Tecla. Although the main damages were fixed quickly, such as the asphalt that the waterspout tore up on Calle Josep Ras i Claravalls, in the Vall de l'Arrabassada, there are other damages that, as was said from the start, will take months to fix , as is the case of the wall of the Escola el Miracle that collapsed.
The neighborhood representatives of the neighborhoods most damaged by the storm assure that individuals are fixing the damage to their properties, while lamenting the uncertainty due to the possibility of a similar event being repeated. "We live with the concern that the same thing will happen again, that so many liters of water accumulate in a matter of hours, something that with climate change is increasingly likely," says the president of the Associació de Veïns de la Vall de l'Arrabassada, Josep Maria Bertran, who from the entity asks that the Terres Cavades ravine and the Budallera ravine be cleaned, that retaining walls be built to prevent the streets from turning into rivers with water flowing down with such force and that pipes are also created that allow so many liters to be evacuated directly to the sea.
On this, the Tarragona City Council ensures, on the one hand, that a hydraulic study has already been commissioned for the entire Budellera area, to find out the behavior of the downpours in the ravine. On the other hand, the council defends that the rains of that day have a return period of 200 years and, therefore, investments of such magnitude as large canalizations cannot be made.
At the same time, Belén Brown, president of the Associació de Veïns de Cala Romana, considers that the Tarragona City Council could have carried out a "very improvable" management. “We have seen that there was a will, but they could have acted more quickly,” she lamented. From the neighborhood they asked for it to be declared a catastrophic area, but the council did not request it because "there were no circumstances of substantial alteration of living conditions or serious damage affecting a community", that is, that the damage of the temporary did not entail the minimum level of catastrophe that justifies it.
The one that will take at least three or four months to recover the normality prior to Santa Tecla is the Escola el Miracle, where the wall that overlooks the soccer field in the courtyard gave way. Just last Monday the municipal technical services, the management of the IMET and the Councilor for Education met with the management of the school and representatives of the School Council to present the news regarding the evolution of the works. The idea is to repair the wall and build a retaining wall to prevent future landslides.
From the consistory they assure that "we are working as a team with the safety coordinator of the works, the person in charge of risk prevention of the Department of Education and the risk coordinator of the school", and the necessary material has also been provided so that the students can continue with extracurricular activities.