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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Floods in the Canary Islands in 1968

Castle and area of San Felipe in Puerto de la Cruz
Oliver Abels, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In the floods of 24 November 1968, the most affected islands were those of El Hierro, La Gomera, Tenerife and Gran Canaria. Through the Barranco de Las Goteras, in the east of Gran Canaria, the water ran after 20 years of total inactivity, and in the Guiniguada, the waters reached two meters in height as it passed through Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Likewise, the rains collected on the peaks caused the Caidero La Niña and Parralillo dams to overflow. But the town that suffered the greatest human and material damage was Puerto de la Cruz, in the north of Tenerife, since strong winds that descended down the slope were added to the intense rains, which at times acquired the character of torrential, from the summit towards the La Orotava valley. The flood in Puerto de La Cruz destroyed 40 homes, most of them on the banks of the San Felipe ravine. One person died. There was much damage in northern municipalities, with flooded streets and houses, blocked roads, landslides and power cuts. Access to Punta Brava was cut off, part of the Calzada de Martiánez and the Puerto de la Cruz beaches were under water.

In Gran Canaria, winds of 118 k per hour, a strong swell and a southerly storm were the causes that, on November 25, 1968, two ships anchored in the port broke their moorings and ended up at Las Alcaravaneras. The small boat, Dumbo and her companion Kallipateira, could not escape the fury of the sea on that winter night, where the first ended up on the shore of the capital's beach and the second, of Greek nationality, trapped in the reef. 

Efemérides meteorológicas en Canarias del siglo XX y XXI

(The video below shows flooding in the San Felipe ravine in 2009.)

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