17 Sep, 2019 @ 14:07
1 min read

WATCH: British couple return to Almoradí to find their house completely destroyed

A BRITISH couple have ‘lost everything’ after the Segura river burst its banks and obliterated their house in Almoradí last Sunday.

Richard and Liesl Cavender were forced to evacuate the flood-hit town in the Vega Baja last Friday, carrying only their passports and some cash.

But dangerously high water levels in the Segura river prevented the couple from returning – until yesterday.

“This used to be my office, this used to be my garden, and this is where my house was,” a heartbroken Richard tells the camera in a video.

“This is where we had my 50th birthday and our 25th wedding anniversary,” Richard adds, before noticing his fridge strewn 30ft from what was once the family kitchen.

DEVASTATION: The Cavender’s house has completely destroyed

Richard is heard sobbing that he’s only found one of five rescue cats – the others presumed killed by the raging waters.

It comes after catastrophic rainfall hit the Vega Baja region of the Costa Blanca following the gota fría storm that dumped a record-breaking 425.4 l/m² of rain on the nearby city of Orihuela from last Thursday morning.

Coupled with the added 15 m3/s of water discharge from the Santomera dam, the Segura river reached breaking point over the weekend as the rains kept coming.

BREAKING POINT: Richard takes a selfie above the near-full Segura river before it broke its banks last Sunday

Concrete walls built after the floods of 1987 could not contain the volume of water the Segura’s banks burst right across the road from the Cavender’s home.

Lying in the path of the torrent that burst forth, their house was completely swept away.

A GoFundMe fundraiser has since amassed more than ?5,000 as 84 wellwishers have pledged to help the Cavenders at this most difficult time.

“Their livelihoods were based from home, which has been lost, so they now have very little in the way of income,” the fundraiser statement reads.

Richard is understood to have run an IT support business for local businesses and expats, while wife Liesl ran a website selling replacement printer ink and toners throughout Spain.

“The insurance system in Spain doesn’t cover ‘acts of god’, they have to submit a claim to the government which is likely to take many months before it is settled,” the GoFundMe statement continues. 

“Meanwhile they are homeless with just the clothes on their backs from the day they were evacuated.”

Both Richard and Liesl are understood to be staying at a villa offered by kind-hearted British expats until they can get back on their feet.

If you would like to help the Cavenders, please find the link here.

READ MORE: ‘Warming Mediterranean Sea’ was behind record-breaking rain, claims Alicante professor

Joshua Parfitt

Joshua James Parfitt is the Costa Blanca correspondent for the Olive Press. He holds a gold-standard NCTJ in multimedia journalism from the award-winning News Associates in Twickenham. His work has been published in the Sunday Times, Esquire, the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Mail, the Sun, the Sun on Sunday, the Mirror, among others. He has appeared on BBC Breakfast to discuss devastating flooding in Spain, as well as making appearances on BBC and LBC radio stations.

Contact me now: joshua@theolivepress.es or call +44 07960046259. Twitter: @jjparfitt

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