The ongoing drama of Carmenes del Mar took an unexpected and serious turn on Friday when the Almuñecar Town Hall declared a state of emergency in the area. The declaration of the state of emergency was communicated to the Local Police, the Fire Department and Civil Protection unit of Almuñecar. Municipal workers were dispatched to the urbanisation where they proceeded to seal off a number of houses and erect barriers along the worst affected streets and footpaths. The decision to implement these drastic measures was taken on foot of a report issued by technicians from the municipal engineering and housing department.
As well as sealing of dangerous buildings and footpaths, a number of residents of Pueblo were issued with eviction notices and given five days to vacate their homes. The owners, who include Spanish, Irish and British citizens, expressed a mixture shock, upset and anger at the turn of events. Ignacio, one of those who received the order to quit, insisted that he is not leaving:
"My house is my whole life, I have nowhere else to go. What they should be doing is carrying out the precautionary measures that the court ordered, so that we can continue to live here."
Others were crying and struggled to express their feeling of powerlessness at having to bear the brunt of the misdeeds and incompetence of the property developers and administrations who responsible for building 415 houses on an unstable hillside.
"We bought houses which had been approved and signed off by all of the administrations. We can't believe that something like this can be happening in a civilised country in the 21st century."
Having declared an official state of emergency, the Almuñecar Town Hall has called for the collaboration and help of the Junta de Andalucia and the State, as the situation is an issue of public safety and therefore falls within the remit of the State and the Autonomous Community of Andalucia, according the the the Law of Emergency Management (Ley 2/2002, de 11 de noviembre, de Gestión de Emergencias en Andalucía).