Cyprus dams reach full capacity in record time

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Cyprus water reservoirs have filled up in record time, according to the Water Development Department as all the island’s dams have never overflowed in January.

One dam, after another, is overflowing with reservoirs rapidly reaching, as expected, their full capacity within the next few days as the downpour continues.

The Water Development Department said on Wednesday three more reservoirs reached full capacity, making it 12 dams flooding over.

According to senior engineer at the WDD, Marios Hadjicostis, this is the first time that water reserves have been so high in January forcing most of the island’s 18 dams to overflow.

Kouris, Evretou and the Polemidia reservoirs overflowed just after midnight on Tuesday. Limassol’s Kouris dam, the island’s largest reservoir, overflowed for the third time since it was constructed in 1988, and for the first time in eight years.

The reservoir, which has a capacity of 115 million cubic metres of water, overflowed for the first time on 4 March 2004, and it took eight years for it to happen again on 6 April 2012.

Hadjicostis told the Cyprus News Agency that “Usually the dams overflow around March or April but this year because of the high water reserves due to last year’s rainfall we had overflows in January”.

Reservoir levels in October were at their highest ever for that month.

Meanwhile, thousands of residents, mainly in Limassol villages have suffered problems due to the heavy rainfall and nearby dams overflowing.

Kalavasos residents on Wednesday woke up to find a river where a road had been for many years after heavy rainfall resulted in the flooding of several streets in the village with 12 houses evacuated as they were left without electricity.

The reservoir overflow has also caused the collapse of the support wall of the village’s ring road.

Authorities said they were waiting for the water level to drop before they could repair the damage.

With the remaining six dams are expected to overflow sometime this month, capacity should reach 99% by the end of January.

The Lefkara reservoir is expected to be the last to overflow, depending on rainfall, said Hadjicostis.

Dipotamos reservoir is expected to overflow within days as well as those at Mavrokolympos and Ayia Marina Chrysochous. The dam in Vyzakia, Nicosia is expected to reach full capacity by the end of the month.

Total dam capacity stands at 96.9%, amounting to 275.2 mcm, whereas on the same day last year, reserves were only at 25.5%.

Cyprus police are urging drivers to be careful in roads near dams as branches, stones and other debris have been transported by torrents of water in the area.