BEACHES in Eastern Spain have lost an average of 11.1m of sand following storm Gloria, which hit the coast on 19 January.

The worst-hit shoreline lost up to 63.3m – in Castelló de la Plana – while the Les Deveses beach in Oliva lost up to 50m in its most ravaged regions.

The results from the Geo-environmental Cartography and Remote Sensing group, from the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), are the first to investigate the damage to Spain’s coastline after storm Gloria swept through claiming 13 lives and leaving 10 people missing.

Researchers analysed satellite images of 200km of coastline between Denia (Alicante) and Vinaroz (Castellón). Comparisons were made between images taken on 6 January and then 26 January.

“The results show the spectacular losses the shoreline has suffered,” the report said.

“We’ve been able to measure that the average retreat of all the beaches of the Gulf of Valencia has been 11.1 meters, although the local differences have been significant.”

Guillermo, who runs a windsurf business, restaurant and owns a house in Les Deveses told the Olive Press the damage to the sea was ‘unprecedented’.

“I’ve been speaking to neighbours who’ve lived here for generations, and they’ve never seen anything like it.”

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BEFORE AND AFTER: Playa de Les Deveses Denia

Guillermo said that festivals used to be held on the sandy beach, but now the sand has been progressively lost until the waves now reach the houses.

“It must be something to do with climate change – if you can’t see it, you’re blind,” he added.

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