Αn unexpected enemy destroyed many olive trees in Greece a few days ago, when a big landslide eliminated an area of more than 200 acres in the western part of the mainland.
I lost 4 acres of land with 120 olive trees, the water tank I was using to water my trees and other equipment.
The rare phenomenon, which occurred in the surroundings of Kryopigi village near the city of Preveza, created a crack in the ground measuring 500 meters long and 200 meters wide and totally changed the morphology of the landscape.
For more than two weeks, the locals have been witnessing the central road surface subsiding in certain spots and their olive groves shifting. Then, the main slide began and tons of soil wiped out roads, bridges, various cultivations, and about 2,500 centenarian olive trees from the surrounding groves.
Luckily, no villagers were victims of the slide, but there are concerns that a toll on human lives will be taken if the geological phenomenon continues to develop. The residents of Kryopigi said that rumbles from below are constantly heard during the night.
The head of the local branch of the Institute for Geological Research characterized it “an unprecedented geological event” and explained that the ground in the area is not cohesive; the recent strong downpours made things worse and caused the slide. Similar events had happened again in the past in the specific area, but they were of a much lower magnitude.
“I lost 4 acres of land with 120 olive trees,” a local farmer said to the national television ERT3 channel. “And I also lost the water tank I was using to water my trees and other equipment,” he added.
The number of trees affected may seem petty, but in Greece, most of the olive grove owners possess a small property that provides the year’s olive oil for the family. The surplus of oil (if any) is sold to bring in some income, evermore valuable now that the country has not fully recovered from the 2008 financial crisis.
The district of Preveza is not among the top olive oil producing territories of Greece, and this season’s harvest is calculated at approximately 5,000 tons. It is still unclear what the impact of the landslide will be on the production of the affected area for next season, but it is certain that many local olive oil producers will suffer significant losses. This means less stock of olive oil for personal use and a lower potential revenue from selling the rest of it.
Residents are calling for the area to be declared a state of emergency as they seek some compensation for those hit by the ravage.