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Chronology of floods and reservoirs. (3/3)

1950 7th October. Rivers Guadalentín, Mula and Segura. Moreras, Salada (Santomera) and Abanilla Wadis.

In the area of the Segura river, in the town of Ceutí, the Huete Wadi overflowed, causing the flooding of various streets and houses and widespread destruction. The Segura burst its banks in several places, hundreds of tahullas of Llano de Brujas and Santa Cruz being flooded. It also flooded Orihuela, in its streets the water reaching a height of 70 centimetres. The swelling of the Salada Wadi (Santomera) and Abanilla Wadi flooded 5,000 tahullas of the Vega Baja.

Canal del Paretón. Extension of the diversion of the River Guadalentín from the Paretón reservoir at Totana, for a capacity of up to 300 cubic metres per second due to the floods occurred during the forties.

1951 24th April. Rivers Segura and Guadalentín.

12th October. Segura river and Cartagena Wadis.


Segura river Orihuela

1953 3rd October . Campo de Cartagena Wadis.

20th October. Segura river.

20th November. Rivers Pliego, Mula and Segura.Benipila and Hondón Wadis.

Canal del Reguerón. Artificial drainage channel for the rises in level of the River Guadalentín. Flood Protection Works Project (1866). In the Preliminary Plan for the protection of the huerta area of Murcia against the flooding of the River Guadalentín (1944), the extension of this flood drainage channel was designed to have a capacity of 240 cubic metres per second. These works were carried out with earth banks, but due to the repeated floods occurred during the forties, which destroyed them, it was necessary to build a new channel, with banks made of concrete, laid on a wooden pile caps, and with a new drainage capacity of 350 cubic metres per second.
1954 21st December. Cartagena Wadis.

1957 1st October. Rivers Segura, Argos and Mula. Algeciras Wadis.

1958 16th September. Rivers Segura and Guadalentín.

1959 27th September. Segura river.

1960 El Cenajo reservoir. Segura river. Plan Nacional de Obras Hidráulicas (1933), built following the Bendita Flood, in April 1946. On 21st January 1960 the Cenajo floodgates were closed, retaining the volume of water coming from the Fuensanta reservoir and its own basin, thus avoiding the likelihood of a huge catastrophe occurring in the three Vegas of the Segura river.
Camarillas reservoir. Mundo river. Plan Nacional de Obras Hidráulicas (1933). Built following the Bendita Flood (1946). It started to collect water for the first time on 23rd December 1960.

1962 19th September. Segura river.

Segura river Vega Media

1964 26th June. La Santa Wadis (Totana).

The most affected area was the built-up area, since La Santa wadi, on its way through Totana, was practically a street. Basements and ground floors were flooded, the water destroying everything in its way. La Cruz de los Hortelanos hermitage was completely destroyed.

22nd July . Rivers Argos and Moratalla.

17th December. Segura river. Vega Baja del Segura Wadis.

1965 8th December. Vega Baja del Segura Wadis and Segura river. Abanilla Wadi.

1966 14th September. Segura river and Abanilla and Aguilas area Wadis.

Santomera reservoir. Salada Wadi. Plan Nacional de Obras Hidráulicas (1933). Built soon after the flood suffered by the town of Santomera in September 1947. The first flood prevented by this reservoir was that of 14th September 1966. In the following years work began on the diversion of the River Chicamo to this reservoir (Canal de Abanilla), to prevent flooding, with a drainage capacity of 250 cubic metres per second.

10th October. Rivers Segura and Guadalentín. Abanilla and Aguilas area Wadis.

The most affected area was the last section of the Segura river, where areas of the municipalities of San Fulgencio, Rojales and Guardamar were flooded.

The Abanilla Wadi also overflowed, flooding parts of the huerta area of Orihuela.

1967 16th April.Abanilla Wadi.

1972 19th October. Rivers Mula, Segura and Guadalentín. Campo de Cartagena Wadi.

Segura river Vega Baja

1973 20th October (Puerto Lumbreras Flood). Nogalte Wadi, Rivers Guadalentín, Mula and Segura. Cartagena Wadis.

The Nogalte Wadi, which passes through Puerto Lumbreras, on the 19th, carried a flow of approximately 2,000 cubic metres per second, of which about 800 were solid materials. It destroyed part of the town, causing 85 confirmed deaths and many persons reported as missing, even with their vehicles, as well as serious damages.

The rivers running into the Puentes reservoir brought an important flow, about 1.14 metres above the reservoir crest. A discharge of more than 2,000 cubic metres per second was calculated for the river Guadalentín, once halted by the Puentes reservoir, and the result was the flooding of the Vega of Lorca and several parts of the town, causing 13 deaths, widespread damage and the evacuation of 400 families.

The by-pass channel of the Paretón reservoir was full to the brim on its way out to sea, and it was estimated that the Guadalentín was carrying a flow of more than 300 cubic metres per second, which, on reaching the Reguerón canal, overflowed, causing the flooding of the huerta area of Murcia, hundreds of people needing to be evacuated.

As for the Mula basin, the river overflowed, flooding all its riverside areas, producing serious damages. At the confluence with the Segura, it caused the latter to burst its banks, flooding extensive areas of Alguazas and Molina. The Segura continued overflowing between Santa Cruz and Beniel, causing a great deal of damage and the evacuation of hundreds of families. It continued overflowing in the Vega Baja, destroying the huerta area of Orihuela, where about 500 people had to be evacuated.

1974 19th August. Segura river and Vega Alta del Segura Wadis.

El Argos reservoir. River Argos. Used for both irrigation and protection purposes.

1975 Azud de Ojós reservoir. Segura river. Built for diverting the Left and Right Bank canals of the distribution canals. On various occasions it has diverted the swollen watercourse.

1977 Drafting of the Anteproyecto del Plan General de Defensa contra las Avenidas en la cuenca del Segura [Preliminary Plan for the Flood Control Plan of the Segura river Basin], drawn up by the Civil Engineer Mr José Bautista Martín, following the floods of October 1973.

1982 19th October. Segura river and Vega Alta del Segura Wadis. Minateda Wadi.

 Vega Baja flood

1986 26 de Julio. Río Segura.

12th October. Segura river and campo de Cartagena wadis.

The worst hit areas were the coastal ones, since the wadis running into the sea swept away everything in their path: bridges, roads, houses, plantations. The pipeline infrastructures of the Tagus-Segura distribution canals were seriously damaged, especially in the irrigable areas of Campo de Cartagena. In the Vega Media, the inflow from the River Mula to the Segura led to several hundreds of people being evacuated, for fear of flooding. The latter occurred between the areas of El Rincón de Beniscornia and La Albatalía. Then the river banks burst and the areas of El Raal and Alquerías were also flooded.

1987 3rd November. Rivers Pliego, Mula and Segura. Coastal Wadis.

Torrential rain storms hit the whole basin, causing the swelling of the Rivers Pliego and Mula, and the evacuation of the towns of Baños de Mula, which was devastated, and part of Albudeite, where the bridge dividing the town in two was swept away by the force of the waters, along with the nursery school.

The inflow from the River Mula to the Segura made the latter burst its banks at Ribera Molina and Torre Alta, and later the same occurred at El Rincón de Beniscornia and Alquerías. As the rain storm grew worse, the Segura continued receiving inflows on both sides, and small wadis turned into real rivers, destroying everything in their path. This made the Segura cause general flooding in its Vega Media and Baja, the towns closest to the riverbed being those most affected, where hundreds of people had to be evacuated. The tragedy reached the coastal area and all the wadis running into the sea destroyed everything in their path. In the area of El Mar Menor, about 490 litres per square metre were registered.

13th November Royal Decree Law 41/1987 determining the urgent implementation of 23 actions of the Plan de Defensas de Avenidas de la cuenca del Segura. The construction of 12 reservoirs, the extension of La Cierva reservoir, the Argus-Quípar overflow channel, the extension of the Paretón de Totana canal, the channelling of the Reguerón, the Minateda Wadi and the Segura river from La Contraparada to Guardamar, divided in five sections, were all planned.

1989 4th September. Rivers Segura and Guadalentín. Moreras Wadi and Coastal Wadis.

The heavy rainfall affecting the whole basin during several days made the Segura river, due to excessive inflows from its tributaries, burst its banks in the Vega Alta, Media and Baja, causing general flooding and considerable damages. The Moreras Wadi, due to the torrential rains fallen in its basin, destroyed a great part of the agricultural and tourist area of Mazarrón, including a campsite in the vicinity of Bolnuevo causing two deaths and widespread damages. In the coastal area, the wadis running into the sea seriously affected agriculture, infrastructures and urban nuclei.

October. Aguilas and coastal area Wadis.


Segura river Zona Orihuela


Source: "Flooding which led to the construction of reservoirs in the Segura river basin (1879 - 1989)". Mariano PeIegrín Garrido. IV SPANISH CONFERENCE THE DAMS IN MURCIA, May 1993.

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