Emergency Services Work Tirelessly Around the Clock – As Disaster Strikes the Beautiful Town of Xabia
Shock, sadness, anger and total dis-belief were just a few of the emotions felt when disaster struck the occupants of the beautiful coastal town of Xabia on Sunday afternoon. Raging fires took hold of over 13 kilometers of rural and residential land – fires that continued throughout the night and were still going strong 24 hours later, despite the incredible efforts of fire fighters, Red Cross, Military and the Local Police. In total, 320 ground troops and 20 different air support personnel worked tirelessly around the clock to save homes and forested areas.
The flames could be witnessed for miles. Smoke blackened the sky, blocking the sun, and traveled the length of Javea, Cumbre del Sol and beyond – dropping ash and red hot cinders like misplaced snow on a summer’s day.
Mass Evacuation was Inevitable
With anger toward the apparent cause (which so far has been accredited to teenage arsonists), Xabia decided to come together in their sadness by opening their doors and businesses to those who were dis-placed. More than 1,000 people were evacuated from their homes during the night. Most were given very little time – leaving everything they owned to the UN-relinquishing fury of the fire. Undoubtedly confused and upset, many were left wondering if they would ever see their homes again.
At 18.00 Monday evening, twenty homes had been reported lost and another fire appeared on the Montgo, Jesus Pobre road which fire fighters managed to extinguish in time. If this was not caused by falling embers – then can we assume that arsonists are still out there causing yet more destruction and devastation? Let’s pray that this is not the case.
Hearts and Doors Opened
Offers of a sofa to sleep on, a room, floor or entire home, came in thick and fast via social media pages. Even businesses opened doors to give shelter to those bewildered and walking the streets. Horses were also helped as volunteers arrived with transportation to move them to safety, and small animals were taken in and cared for by families less affected. Overnight, the people of Xabia immediately began to think of ways in which they could help financially (links below). They set about creating avenues in which donations could be made for those who lost their homes – including extra funds toward the fire fighters (who rely on volunteers and donations). Schools were closed, and some businesses too, while the shock wave continued to ripple throughout this, and neighboring communities.
We Are One
In a time when anger would be the common emotional out-pouring, hearts opened and compassion flooded this little town in such a way, that a true sense of pride could be felt throughout each and every community. Personally, I have never experienced or witnessed firsthand, such a beautiful sense of the “We Are One” mentality. This is our home and we care passionately about it… including the people in it. Especially when they are in need of help.
The highly respected Mayor of Xabia, Jose Chulvi (pictured below) has always been openly passionate about his home town. Overcome with the devastation he had witnessed, he wept unashamedly in the company of his colleagues – an image that touched the hearts of us all. As those evacuated are allowed to return to their homes this afternoon, the wonder of the human spirit remains evident in the actions of so many here. This is a small town with a ‘big city’ attitude in a world that is sometimes cruel and absent of thought for our fellow man. So as we go about our daily lives, or sleep in the comfort of our beds tonight in the aftermath of what we have witnessed as a community… remember we are the lucky ones! Business is business and we all know that life must go on, but people matter more – much more. This can happen to anyone at any time, and we would do well to keep the compassion we have felt for others during this difficult time, in our hearts always.
We rarely get a chance to see the faces behind the HEROES who we all think of and wish we could thank personally and individually – Well here are three ‘hero faces’ taking a well-earned break. “MUCHAS GRACIAS”
Let’s keep this going for the LOVE of XABIA!
Change.org Javea Town Hall – Petition to replant trees and foliage and NOT allow the area to be built upon. You may have heard about the change in law that was implemented last year which would conveniently allow areas destroyed in a fire to be built on. Well this is it! DO NOT allow the Government to do this. PLEASE SIGN NOW and share far and wide!
LAGUNA RIBS – Distributing t-shirts www.facebook.com/lasse.eriksson.50/posts/1234557953242203
PC HIGHWAY – For all those who are without electricity: WE OFFER FREE CHARGING OF MOBILE PHONES, TABLETS OR LAPTOPS AS WELL AS INTERNET USAGE TO STAY IN CONTACT WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS. COFFEE AND TEA AVAILABLE TOO.
Images: Getty Images & David Revenga