News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol
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Parador museum set for Granada
The Alhambra Palace Parador is the chain's most popular
By Dave Jamieson
THE Parador hotel at the Alhambra Palace in Granada will also be a museum by the summer. It will become the third to be developed in this way amongst the state-owned Parador's chain of more than 90 hotels, many of which are housed in historic buildings and monuments.
The Parador's president, Miguel Martínez, said last week that the move had three objectives. "First, to offer an incentive to our clients. Second, to contribute to the dissemination of Spain's art and history. And third, to attract more Spanish and foreign visitors." He added that the initiative would boost the economy and generate more jobs.
"We know that our Paradors possess rich and very important history, art and architecture," explained Sr Martínez, "but this is passed unnoticed, at least in part, by many of our clients and also by people who live in places where there is a Parador." He said this was because neither the information nor the means to convey it exist.
Granada's Parador is part of the Alhambra Palace and is the most popular in the chain.
DEADLY CORTIJO COLLAPSE
British couple, aged 63 and 64, killed as roof of country house caves in
By Dave Jamieson
The room where the roof collapsed (Photo: Solarpix.com)
A BRITISH couple have died and another woman received multiple injuries when a house collapsed in Granada on Monday evening. Emergency services say a landslide caused by heavy rain was the probable cause of the disaster.
The couple who died have been named as Christopher Martin, aged 64 and his wife Christine, aged 63. They lived on the coast at La Mamola but were staying with the British owners of the country cortijo 25 kilometres inland at the village of Rubite when the disaster struck. At about 6.30pm as they were sitting watching television, the roof of the living room collapsed onto them, burying them in two metres of debris and killing both instantly. The owner was outside tending to their animals and was uninjured but his wife, who was preparing dinner in the kitchen, received multiple injuries and was rushed to hospital.
The British Consul in Málaga, Steve Jones, told CDSN, "We are aware of this event and are liaising with the authorities to do everything we can for the people affected by this tragedy."
Flooded houses in Alhaurín were illegal; animals died at unlicenced farm
By Oliver McIntyre
THE houses in the Santa Amalia zone of Alhaurín de la Torre where people had to be rescued by helicopter and boat during the floods last week were illegally built in an area classified as non-building land because it is in a flood plain, reported the town hall last week. The town hall already had proceedings open against 12 homes in the zone "which are the houses that were the worst affected" by the flooding. The proceedings have been open for several years and the town hall is awaiting final court rulings that may lead to the demolition orders, said local officials.
In the nearby town of Cártama, it is understood there are proceedings open against as many as 700 homes built in flood zones, while there are another 50 cases in Pizarra and Álora.
Despite the illegality of the Santa Amalia homes, Alhaurín town hall provided full assistance to the residents during the evacuations, including providing accommodations as well as meal and clothing vouchers.
Alhaurín's mayor, Joaquín Villanova, estimated that the storms and flooding caused some two million euros of damage to local roads and infrastructure, not including agricultural losses and damage to private homes.
In Cártama, the town hall has also announced that its Social Services department is available to help local people seek government assistance for damages suffered in their homes or businesses during the storms and flooding. The period is open until March 16.
In addition to material damages, the flooding left a number of horses and other animals dead in its wake, leading to complaints from local animal groups and residents. The CYD Santa María horse rescue centre denounced the death of 12 horses that drowned on an Alhaurín de la Torre farm it had reported to Junta de Andalucía agriculture authorities a year ago for operating illegally and keeping animals in poor conditions. "The Junta's Agriculture Department in Málaga province failed to take action to improve the situation," CYD's Virginia Solera told Costa del Sol News
Local British residents Anne Khraiche and granddaughter Lauren Keeble told CDSN that numerous other animals were drowned at the same site, including dogs, cats, chickens and goats. The bodies remained uncollected for a week before authorities finally took them away on Monday of this week.