Residents of Pissouri on Thursday pleaded with MPs to help with growing problems as a result of ongoing landslides in the area, including banks following them.
They asked for help so that banks could be asked for a solution for anyone affected by the Pissouri landslides regarding benefits on their home loans. Pissouri community leader Lazaros Lazarou expressed concern about any delays in landslide repairs that could further exacerbate the situation.
In a statement after the meeting, Lazarou thanked the Minister of the Interior and the state as a whole for starting the strengthening project.
But he also warned that there should be no gap between the first and second phases of the project, “because we believe that this could also call into question its effectiveness.”
Lazaru said he sent a message stating that as a community “we demand the smooth continuation of this project, and we thank everyone who shares this opinion and works on it.”
Asked about the opinion of the Science and Technology Chamber (ETEK) that it is better to have a period of four to six months between the first and second phases to see if the projects are effective, Lazarev said they were “surprised” to hear this opinion, which , he said, had been absent from eight previous meetings with the committee and other agencies on the subject.
“Now we find their interest very belated, and we are concerned that their attempt to find a better solution may hinder or delay a good solution that seems to be starting to pay off,” he said.
Even a six-month delay is significant enough to make matters worse, Lazaru said.
Asked if they knew the area was unsuitable for housing, he said that most of the people who built houses in the area were from Pissouri and that if they knew it would probably happen in 30 years they would not have built there.
“Of course they didn’t know, but neither did the people in charge, they had no idea” when the area was included in the residential area, he said.
Over 20 houses were declared unusable and residents were asked to vacate them, but several others were severely damaged.
About 250 homes were affected, according to Elina-Zoy , spokeswoman for the Georgia Pissouri Citizens Initiative Group .
Zoe said they raised two issues with the House Home Affairs Committee. The first concerns loans from people who have been forced to leave their homes and are currently paying rent but the mortgage is expiring.
Zoe said they asked the banks to stop payments, but since a lot of time has passed, the banks are back and asking for payments again.
“We asked for help so that banks can request a solution in general for all those affected in the area of the landslide in Pissouri,” she added.
The second question concerns the safety of the houses, which are abandoned but filled with personal belongings.
Zoe noted that there had been a number of thefts. She said the owners are calling the police “who refuse to intervene in this matter, so we have asked the committee and those present on behalf of the government to take some action to protect this property.”
On the issue of ongoing work, Zoe explained that stage 1 does not concern the landslide zone, but the territory outside it, so that it does not expand.
According to her, the work related to the landslide zone consists of the construction of a counterweight barrier and some piling work within the landslide zone, which will reduce the load on the entire area.
Zoe added that whenever there is a very wet winter in Cyprus, there is a rapid movement in the area, which for the past 30 years has been built up with residential buildings without sewerage.