MALAGA – The popular hiking trail El Caminito del Rey, in Málaga province, has been temporarily closed due to falling rocks that have damaged a wooden footpath. This was as a result of landslides caused by heavy rainfall.
According to the official website, tourist route, El Caminito del Rey will be closed until 15 December.
Part of the route has to be rebuilt. This is a 20-metre-long section of the wooden footpath near the northern entrance which has been damaged.
The rain of recent days last Monday night caused large rocks and stones to fall. This caused damage but no injuries. The Diputación de Málaga said in a statement that the work to inspect and reinforce the slope where the landslides occurred and to repair the platforms will take three days. It is more common in winter for the path to be closed due to bad weather conditions.
Fibre-optic cable cut
The landslides occurred late on Monday evening, around 11.18 pm. That is when the fibre-optic cable that transmits information and images from the security cameras installed on the Caminito was cut. According to technicians from the UTE Caminito del Rey – in charge of managing the path – and the Málaga City Council, the damage was not caused by falling stones on the slope of that part of the footpath. Nevertheless, the landslide – resulting in falling stones on the wall in front of the path – did affect the path ‘ as this is one of the narrowest points of the route’. They also pointed out that there are protective nets along the Caminito on all slopes where landslides can occur.
The UTE’s technical staff located the source of the landslides on Tuesday. They then started checking the slope where the stones fell and to ensure it was secured. Next, anchors, brackets (support lines for the walkways) and boards will be reinstalled to repair the affected section. The fibre-optic cabling will also be repaired. This will be carried out by staff specialised in this kind of vertical work.
Málaga City Council president Francisco Salado said that the footpaths and the area of the path are checked every week. Moreover, he assured that the landslides were caused by natural causes, as a result of the rains in recent days.
Salado stressed the “speed” with which the source of the problem was identified and the solution was put in place. He also thanked the companies and municipal authorities in the area for their cooperation by quickly providing the necessary materials to replace the 20 metres of affected footpath.
The provincial council president also stressed the El Caminito del Rey footpath has an integrated health and safety management system. Members quickly met to assess the damage and repair it as soon as possible so the path can be reopened.
Also read: Caminito del Rey – all you need to know