Expertise: Causes of the landslide in Nea Voutzas

Close proximity to a stream, unstable ground, steep slopes, and recent fires and heavy rainfall have resulted in three houses in the village of Nea Vutza literally sinking into the ground.

The landslide in Neos Voutzas occurred purely for geological reasons, say experts involved in the study.

According to Efthymios Lekkas, president of the earthquake planning and protection organization, three houses were directly affected: one is already considered demolished, the second can be saved if the necessary ancillary work is carried out in time, and the third is at less risk. In total, there are seven houses in the danger zone. “Geological studies, after the occurrence of this phenomenon, are now needed, before the start of all projects in the area,” he said.

In the meantime, the municipality of Rafina-Pikermi has already begun the task of studying the phenomenon that has been taking place in recent days in Nea Vutza. According to Mayor Vangelis Burnus, this study will take up to six weeks. “However, time and rain are our enemies,” he added. On the recommendation of Professor Efthymios Lekkas, the mayor of the district gave instructions for the immediate demolition of the two-story house in order to save the rest of the buildings. “The help of the municipality will be to include the owner of the property in the category of “affected by natural disasters,” says Vangelis Burnus.

According to the mayor, the causes of the landslide are “unstable ground, a large slope (the place where the geological phenomenon was recorded and where the houses are located has a slope of 50 degrees and a distance of 35 meters from the stream, on the slope of the cliff). However, the engineers who calculated the parameters before building houses here are also to blame.

According to the experts, “phenomena similar to what we observe in Nea Wutza, can be seen in other places, not only in this municipality. This is because in the 60s various cooperatives “cut” plots right on the floodplains of streams (rivulets), and today we see the results of these decisions,” the mayor concludes.

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