At the disposal of the Municipalities of Aegialia and Kalavryta is a report by the University of Patras, with the evaluation of points in areas that are prone to landslides and are a permanent threat to the Toothless roller coaster.
The report is drawn up on her initiative Region of Western Greece which is responsible for the study and restoration projects (with budgets and schedules), with the required assistance of the Civil Protection of Aegialia and Kalavryta.
The report emerged after an on-site inspection of the Vouraikos riverbed on Friday, October 20. These are the effects of a large landslide that occurred after the bad weather on Tuesday, October 17, which resulted in the closure of the Odontotos line from October 18 – 22.
“The places affected by the specific landslides are located after the first 1.5 km – of the 1,700m. and above, up to the 4th km of the railway line, heading from Diakopto to Kalavryta.
The slopes, stripped after the July fires, upstream of the line and the small watercourses – the so-called semi-gangetic ravines – that shape them were severely affected by the heavy rainfall, with the result that sandy soil and boulders, which were in a state of marginal equilibrium, were washed away by the flow of the torrent at speed, downstream and to end up in the bed of Vouraikos.
Such flows are common in areas where the slopes are completely bare of vegetation.
Taking into account the fact that we have now entered a period dominated by short-lived but extreme weather events, it is certain that landslides in the region will recur whenever their limit equilibrium regime is changed due to rainfall” states the revealing report of Nikos Depountis, Associate Professor of Technical Geology at the University of Patras.
It is recalled that the severe bad weather “Daniel” closed the canyon on 6/9/2023 and on 13/9/2023, “Elias” came to cause new landslides inside Vouraikos.
After the bad weather of last Thursday, November 2, wounds were opened that do not close easily for Odontotos as the cleaning and restoration work of the line, it seems, will be delayed.
According to the Deputy Mayor of Technical Services of the Municipality of Aegialia Vasilis Christopoulos, also responsible for D.E. Diakoptos after the fire of last summer (23/7/2023) in many places in the wider area of Diakoptos where there are streams that end up in the Vouraikos, the ground is extremely unstable with the result that we have large landslides in every bad weather.
“It is now necessary to draw up a broad restoration plan with immediate funding and specific timetables, as part of this preparation, for a plan with studies and projects, we are making contacts with the Region and the University” points out Mr. Christopoulos. The intervention in Vouraikos includes a special net, durable and able to hold soil and rocks, which is placed on the ground and held down the slope. Of course, there are many concerns as there are several practical issues that have already arisen:
the first problem is the responsibility of Forestry and the requirement to proceed with the opening of supporting networks in the forest and a second issue is the possibility that many of the points that are already being evaluated are not covered by direct technical interventions and require special technical projects, of high cost and long maturation period.
However, according to what Mr. Depountis conveyed, in addition to his proposals, the University of Patras also evaluates the risk in each of these “danger zones” in order to set priorities.
Source: Opinion newspaper (republished from thebest.gr)
*File photos: Eurokinissi (Stelios Stefanou)