HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 5 (ACN) Final data provided by specialists from the Center for Environmental Studies of Cienfuegos (CEAC) report that the beaches of the province of Cienfuegos were severely damaged by the intense rains and floods caused by the subtropical storm Alberto.
Eugenio Olalde Chang, coordinator of the state service for the monitoring of the beaches in the territory, declared that after a tour of all the beaches from Cabagán on the border with Santi Spiritus to Rancho Luna, the effects are linked to the marine or pluvial erosion of the dunes.
He explained that most of these sands are of the tibaracon type, that is to say, they form sand bars during the dry period and isolate the river by accumulating sediments, but in the rainy period they break the barrier and flow into the sea.
He gave the example of El Tamarindo beach where the sand bar associated with the river lost a little silica at the mouth but at the western limit the coast disappeared completely, because from the mangrove swamp a blow of water with a lot of energy came.
Olalde Chang said that the escarpments opened by the loss of sand are more than a meter high, the trees there were uprooted, while others were exposed to the obvious force of the currents.
He mentioned the Fría and Inglés beaches, which are undergoing a process of marine erosion, but had no major impact.
The geographer said that the natural process of recovery of the beaches is slow and natural because it is part of the dynamics of the beach and the sea.
He explained that for the summer stage these beaches will not recover, especially if it continues raining, because the rivers will continue to carry sediments.
In the case of Rancho Luna, the most emblematic beach of the territory, it suffered a great aggression due to water runoff.
Omar Gutiérrez Benítez, a specialist in the environmental engineering group of CEAC, said that from the Brisas del Mar restaurant to the ranches on the beach, the greatest damage has been located due to insufficient rainwater drainage works, which causes high water flows.
Also in the dune the sand has been compacted by the passage of high tonnage vehicles such as trucks with bathers and others with food products to supply the service units.
He said that when the passage of Hurricane Irma, gullies and furrows were seen along the coast and now there are greater levels of erosion, with holes in five places more than a meter high, due to the large volumes of water that flow there.
He evaluated as complex the processes of sand accumulation and at the same time of marine and hydric erosion that occurs in Rancho Luna, whose balance is negative.
He argued that studies supported by remote sensing and satellite imaging techniques have shown the considerable degree of dune erosion.