On 19 October 1973 the water swept through the municipality of Albox. It is fifty years since the floods that will remain forever in the memory of many people from Albox. It was Friday, and at twelve noon the water of the wadi began to jump over the defence wall. The waves were so big and their tongues of silt so imposing that they swept away everything in their path. Some businesses lost everything, such as the Restaurante La Parrilla in the Plaza Mayor, the Velázquez School disappeared, and so did numerous businesses and homes where the water rose several metres in height. All the town’s bells rang for several minutes warning of what was happening. And just at that time, at twelve o’clock on 19 October, fifty years later, a manifesto was read and the bells tolled in the Town Hall of Albox, to commemorate that sad anniversary.
This was the first of the activities organised by the Somos Albojenses Association and the Albox Town Hall. “We could not let this anniversary pass. Thanks to Somos Albojenses and neighbours of our town who wanted to collaborate, we have been able to remember what those days were like. Thanks to the family of Miguel Romero for allowing us to discover through his photographs a very valuable legacy and to Miguel Ángel Alonso for his digitalisation” said the Councillor for Culture, Juan Domingo Navarro, at the opening of the photographic exhibition “Inundaciones de Albox de 1973. Fiftieth Anniversary” which can be visited by the local residents until 4 November. A collection of forty-five unpublished images by the photographer Romero taken during the days of the catastrophe where he portrays the Albox tragedy, as well as some images of the visit to the town, two days later, of the then Prince and Princess of Spain, Juan Carlos and Sofia.
Those who come to see the exhibition will also be able to appreciate the digital work done by Fran Maldonado with images of the time and photographs of today. Or a huge ashlar stone from the retaining wall that was discovered days later inside the Tejidos Maldonado shop, washed away by the water.
But the events did not end here. A day later, several talks were held; Miguel Ángel Alonso, coordinator of the magazine El Arriero, gave a talk entitled ’19 October 1973. Genesis of a flood’.
José Luis Maestre and Juan Jesús Maestre, responsible for the Meteorological Observatory of Albox dealt with ‘La Dana de 1973’ and Francisco Rodríguez Carricondo, also from the magazine El Arriero, ‘El Malecón de defensa de Albox’. The talks were very well received by the local residents who filled the auditorium of the IES Martín García Ramos Secondary School.
Among the audience, the mayoress, María del Mar Alfonso “We have learned a lot, they have been presentations with a great historical value. I would especially like to highlight the ability of the people of Alboja to overcome tragedies throughout history”, said the mayoress.