Spain’s Ebro Delta DISAPPEARS as it is completely engulfed by water

A ZONE of catastrophic devastation is set to be declared in the Ebro Delta in Spain, as Storm Gloria has resulted in incalculable devastation to natural habitats, infrastructure and agriculture.

The coast of the Ebro Delta has completely flooded, with 3,000 hectares of fields being engulfed by water which has already reached 3 kilometres inland. 

Heavy rainfall and high sea levels have also led to the River Ebro overflowing and the Bassa de l’Arena beach to be swallowed by salt water. The mayor of Deltebre, Lluís Soler, stated that the storm was “unusual, unprecedented and one which we have never seen before”.  

Soler added that the coastline has completely disappeared and that there has been significant damage to the town, including flooded streets, falling trees and electricity poles. Home to some 11,000 inhabitants, 60% of people have been left without electricity since the beginning of the storm. 

Soler demands that immediate action is taken in the Ebro Delta to counteract the climate emergency that has proved historic, asking for the Spanish Government to urgently act. He said: “The delta is an unprotected region and we need effective solutions to save its environment.”

The Ebre Defence has also warned of the devastating effects caused by Storm Gloria on their Twitter account, writing: “We have the feeling that the people of Ebro will be the first climatic refugees in Europe. Too much irrigation, reservoirs and speculation … The Ebro without flow will be the death of Delta.”

The full extent of the devastation can be seen just by looking at satellite images taken from January 1 and 21 which shows how much of the territory has been flooded.

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Comparisons between satellite images from 1 and 21 January 2020.

The Ebro Delta (Delta de l’Ebre) lies in the province of Tarragona in Catalonia and plays host to the largest aquatic habitat in the region with a rich variety of marine and mainland environments. Covering an area of 320 km2, the protected Ebro Delta nature reserve constitutes one of the largest humid areas in Europe.

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An image of the Ebro Delta before it was devastated by floods. Credit: FIF.
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Written by

Isha Sesay