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Barcelona wants catastrophe zone designation due to Storm Gloria

City council estimates cost of repairing damage caused by January's storm to be over €23m


27 February 2020 08:17 PM


ACN | Barcelona

Barcelona's local government is to demand designation as a catastrophe zone due to the destruction caused by Storm Gloria in January, which the city estimates caused damage to the tune of 23.6 million euros.

The city council has also approved funding for some urgent repairs, including 5 million euros to repair the Port Fòrum seawall, and 1.2 million for repairs to beaches, roads, electrical infrastructure and other damage.

"This work cannot wait, because the damage was so great that we needed to act very quickly," said Janet Sanz, the city councilor in charge of ecology, urbanism and mobility, on Thursday.

The city council will meet with the Spanish government's delegation in Catalonia before the end of March to discuss how much of the cost for the repairs will be funded by the state authorities.

The council estimates that 4.5 million euros in damage was done to the city's trees, 5 million euros to the Port Fòrum area, 700,000 euros to the Port Olímpic area, 1 million to traffic lights and street signs, and 4 million to schools and other municipal facilities.

Restoration of beaches underway

Meanwhile, the city's climate emergency councilor, Eloi Badia, said that of the 30% loss of sand washed away by the storm, some two thirds have been recovered, with the most damage done to the Nova Icària and Nova Mar Bella beaches. 

New sand will be brought in to help restore the city's beaches, especially as the last time was back in 2010, with the city aiming to have them ready for the summer season, albeit offering a slightly smaller surface area for beachgoers.

As for the city's trees, some 82 were either blown over in the storm or left seriously damaged, while another 146 suffered major damage, with the condition of another 93 allowing them to be saved.


  • Damage caused by Storm Gloria at Mar Bella beach, Barcelona, January 24, 2020 (by Aina Martí)

  • Damage caused by Storm Gloria at Mar Bella beach, Barcelona, January 24, 2020 (by Aina Martí)