The San Sebastián flood

The Adeje councillor for heritage, Desiderio Afonso Ruiz has uncovered, through interviews with some of the borough’s older residents, a relatively unknown story from the 1950s regarding a flash flood during the Feast of San Sebastián, celebrated on January 20th. As has always been the tradition, and continues today, hundreds of pilgrims walk with the statue from Adeje to La Caleta, through fields and barrancos.

“At that time the day of San Sebastián dawned bright and sunny, with people, animals, and carts taking part in the pilgrimage, when suddenly, around about midday, the skies clouded over and it began to rain with a fierce intensity. The barranco became a river, and many of the pilgrims were caught unawares. One family were trapped on what had become an island in the middle of the barranco, and the level of the water had risen so quickly there was no way to save them. The Guardia Civil tried to throw them a rope to help pull them out but were unable to reach the family. The water was also rushing down the barranco with such force that people were shouting out to the saint himself to intercede to save the family. …According to the story, when the picture of the saint arrived at the edge of the river, the waters calmed, “miraculously” and with the aid of a human chain, formed by the men of the party, including Don Antonio the shepherd, the family were saved. Since that day they say that San Sebastián calms the waters”.
Councillor Desiderio has investigated the story, and says that as there is no written account of the events that took place, we need to rely on oral sources. This story has passed, he says, from generation to generation. He took time to speak to a number of the borough’s older residents who have told him that they saw the event first hand, and others who weren’t present but who heard about the event the day it happened.
He says we cannot be sure of the exact year of the flood, and that almost everyone he spoke to had a different date in their memory, from 1950 to 1933…”so”, he says “we believe it happened during the first half of the 1950s”.
Desiderio has thanked those who took the time to tell him the tale, and includes Ana María Afonso Quintero, Pilar Afonso Pláceres, Maria del Carmen Rodriguez Quintero, Maria Luisa Vargas, José Francisco García, Ofelia Díaz Rivero, Antonio Rodríguez Rodríguez, Manuel Jesús Ramos Hernández and Francisco Lima Trujillo.

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Mayor Praises Emergency Centre

MAYOR FLOODSThe mayor of Adeje praised the excellent operation of the emergency and security unit
Adeje’s mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga has announced a number of short, medium and long term measures to address certain deficiencies in the water drainage system in the borough.

Adeje’s mayor, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, following a meeting with the group this morning, has praised the good work carried out by the CECOPAL, the borough’s emergency operations centre. The mayor, along with technical and security personnel, inspected first hand the zones that have been most affected by the storms to make a on-site evaluation. At the same time, given the improving situation and the reduction in the alert status, the mayor de-activated the group, leaving a security team in place as well as those involved in the clean up and evaluation work.
The mayor congratulated the emergency and security teams for the work undertaken during the critical hours of the crisis, “I must praise the efforts , which often went beyond what is normally asked, of all those groups who were involved in responding to the incidents arising during the crisis. Local Police, Civil Protections, Fire Fighters, town businesses, personnel from the works and services area, as well as those in the communications division, whose work is also important in keeping the population informed and at ease, with the correct official information”, he said. Rodríguez Fraga had particular words of praise for the Adeje Local Police who today celebrate the feast day of their Patron, the Virgen de Guadalupe, and who had to cancel their ceremonies due to the alert.
Regarding the incidents that arose as a result of the storms, the mayor said, “Adeje didin’t suffer great damage and no human injuries, which is the most important, and that is, in no small way, as a result of the investment made in the drainage infrastructure which we carried out in recent years.” Adeje has see this work completed in Las Torres and Los Olivos as well as in the Barranco del Agua and the Barranco del Inglés, among other zones.

The damage that was caused by the rain in the past few days will be resolved as soon as possible, with “immediate measures taken to repair and improve the situation, but in the medium to long term we will study what work needs to be done to make our drainage system more effective when there are heavy rains. ” Adeje council is already planning the installation of a system of channels in 2014 by the Barranco del Lomo which is precisely the origin of the accumulation of water, mud and stones that affected the Avda. Madroñal in Miraverde.

The mayor said that during today over 200 people continue to work removing stones and mud from the streets. As well, the town’s cleaning company, Ascan Torrabonaf, is also allocating teams to work alongside with water to help clean the streets which have been most affected by mud. Incidents such as water supply problems in Fañabé and Tijoco Bajo, because of burst pipes, have been fixed by the water company Entemanser.

The damage to some of the borough’s beaches has seen a considerable loss of sand in some of them, and the accumulation of branches, stones and other material washed down by the water. At the moment the relevant companies have begun work to clean up the beaches, but this will take a few days.
The council has announced that extra-curricular activities are suspended this afternoon (Thursday) but will resume as normal tomorrow, Friday, in the School of Dance and Music, the People’s University, sporting centres, the municipal creche, and the special needs centre.
The local government have also decided to continue with the Christmas programme tomorrow, with the Christmas market in the Plaza César Manrique, the inauguration of the Nativity Scene in Los Olivos, etc. There will also be a boxing match in Las Torres tomorrow at 8.30pm. However the planned event by the residents association of La Caleta tomorrow for the collection of toys and non-perishible food items has been suspended and will take place on Thursday December 19th.