1 Aug, 2023 @ 12:00
1 min read

Two more beaches in Spain’s Alicante shut over toxic algae concerns as high summer hits

Covid 19 Spain Tourism Crisis 3th Of August 2020
COVID 19 SPAIN tourism crisis 3th of august 2020 Illustration of person wearing mask on San Juan beach near Alicante close to Benidorm resort. The coronavirus pandemic has dealt a fatal blow to the Spanish economy, as tourism accounts for 13 of GDP. A sector that provides hundreds of thousands of jobs. Alicante is currently less affected than Catalonia or Aragon (north-east) but the authorities have decided to anticipate by having ready two pavilions of the trade fair, which had served as a field hospital in March-April , in order to send new Covid patients there. Spain, which officially counts more than 28,400 dead from the pandemic, has seen the number of cases jump in recent weeks. Illustration de personne portant le masque sur la plage de San Juan pres d Alicante proche de la station Balneaire Benidorm. La pandemie de coronavirus a porte un coup fatal a l economie espagnole, alors que le tourisme represente 13 du PIB. Un secteur pourvoyeur de centaines de milliers d emplois. Alicante est pour l instant moins affectee que la Catalogne ou l Aragon (nord-est) mais les autorites ont decide d anticiper en tenant prets deux pavillons de la foire commerciale, qui avait servi d hopital de campagne en mars-avril, afin d y envoyer les nouveaux malades du Covid. L Espagne, qui denombre officiellement plus de 28 400 morts de la pandemie, a vu bondir ces dernieres semaines le nombre de cas.//PATTIERMATHIEU_18430011/2008031854/Credit:Mathieu Pattier/SIPA/2008031857 *** Local Caption *** 00975333

TWO popular Spanish beaches have been forced to close temporarily due at the height of summer to ‘abnormal’ levels of bacteria detected in the water. 

Urbanova and San Gabriel beaches in Alicante were shut down on Friday following the discovery of heightened enterococci levels. 

Authorities the General Directorate of Water and the Alicante City Council conducted water tests before reopening the beaches the following day once the bacteria levels returned to normal

The exact cause of the elevated bacteria levels has not been definitively determined. Experts have ruled out river discharge or the treatment plant in the San Gabriel area as potential sources.

This recent incident comes on the heels of the closures of other beaches in the region. 

Beaches in Medicalia, Puig Val, Old Fishermen’s Quarter, and Els Plans beaches were closed on July 22  after a peculiar thick, grainy, white substance was found on the shore. 

While these beaches have since reopened, authorities are still investigating the nature of the substance.

Tourists have been urged to be wary on beaches in both France and Spain earlier this month due to an upsurge of toxic algae. 

Experts have expressed concerns that these algae can lead to skin irritation, gastric disorders, nausea, vomiting, and flu-like symptoms. 

The surge of toxic algae is attributed to climate change, resulting in warmer semi-tropical seas around Europe, and the proliferation of the poisonous Ostreopsis algae.

Dr Elisa Berdalet from the Institute of Marine Sciences emphasised the gravity of the situation. 

She said: “The rising water temperature in the Mediterranean will cause the spread of toxic algae Ostreopsis, which will linger for longer and in greater quantities, possibly posing a threat to tourism in the future.”


Walter Finch

Walter - or Walt to most people - is a former and sometimes still photographer and filmmaker who likes to dig under the surface.
A NCTJ-trained journalist, he came to the Costa del Sol - Gibraltar hotspot from the Daily Mail in 2022 to report on organised crime, corruption, financial fraud and a little bit of whatever is going on.
Got a story? walter@theolivepress.es

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