Pissouri Landslide Residents to Receive Compensation for Property Damage
After a slow-moving landslide which damaged the soil, devastating many houses in the area of Limnes in Pissouri, as the village is located in a “geologically problematic area” geologists warn. Since 2012, when a mini landslide occurred, some Pissouri residents have sustained continual damage to their properties.
After more than 10 homes had to relocate to more stable ground, no official word from the government was released for some years and many feared the worst for the families and home owners of the affected areas. However, luckily there have been several developments since the appeals started.
The government has been working with the Cyprus House interior committee and last month, released details about the compensation that will be available to owners of homes affected by the Pissouri landslides.
The issues to residents caused by the landslide was discussed by the committee in the presence of the Cyprus House President, Mr Demetris Syllouris, who has been visiting the area and met with the displaced homeowners.
With the fine print still being finalised, the government has officially made two pledges:
1. To compensate those affected by the landslide in Limnes and any affected properties in the surrounding areas.
2. To start testing the land and find how to conduct an effective stabilisation of the area for years to come.
It seems that the unstable land where the properties were constructed is in a much more serious condition than after its initial assessment following resident complaints of falling gravel. Geologists warn it is a geographical instability that affects the entire southwest coast of the island; stretching almost the length of the Pissouri beach town. The affected area measures around 500,000 m2 and is slowly increasing, destabilising more foundations at it spreads.
Reimbursement sums in varying amounts according to damage will be assigned to families that had to evacuate their houses. To date, four families have been informed that their house is inhabitable, but the number is expected to rise.
Cyprus officials have welcomed the announced measures and support however commented on the delay for the arrangements to be decided and announced, with many residents fearing that potentially no reimbursement could be made. MP Giorgous Perdikis criticised the government for “moving at a snail’s pace”. By the time evaluations are made and steps are taken, many of the buildings could have collapsed leaving residents without even a trace of their homes left.
After years of inaction, in 2015 some property owners formed the Pissouri Housing Initiative Group and paid thousands in order to obtain evaluations and deeds from international experts which also satellite imaging, a process which totaled EUR €25,000, which is currently measuring the speed of the movement of the land. According to the study obtained by the groups satellite, the movement of the landslide has been moving at a rate of 40 cms on average each year.
Damage includes cracks forming in interior and exterior walls, swimming pools draining, roads and pavements being uplifted; drains and water pipes snapping. With some residents calling emergency services hearing sounds of a cracking inside their home.
The Pissouri Housing Initiative Group has used their independent research to attribute the landslide to the councils failure to provide enough infrastructure to manage winter rain and ground water and the government for allowing large scale development to take place in the area while failing to carry out infrastructure works to reduce the water collection, or to alleviate the sliding hillside.