The city’s Venetian walls and moat were reported to have been “adversely affected” by the downpours.
Mayor İsmail Arter said council teams were working “meticulously” to deal with the problems and protect the “cultural heritage of not only Gazimağusa or the country at large but of the entire world”.
He said the municipality was not allowed to dig a new channel in the moat to allow water to flow away because the area is classed as an archaeological site so workers instead focused on preventing water from flowing in.
He explained that under a project concluded in August 2018 the local authority was not permitted to carry out “deep excavations” and was responsible for preventing damage to the site.
“We have remained within the limits drawn up by the Supreme Board of Monuments and did not take any initiatives or decisions of our own,” Mr Arter stressed.
He added that despite regular cleaning of the ancient moat drainage system it “occasionally becomes blocked” especially with heavy rains that carry rubbish and waste.
The mayor hit back at criticism of his handling of the situation as “unjustified and uninformed”.
On the opposite side of the island water overflowing from the Pedre stream in South Cyprus reached the Lefke stream before gushing into the sea due to blocked flaps at the Cengizköy “diversion facility”.
Lefke district officer Sadi Güneş said that a “small reservoir” should be formed in the vicinity of Taşköy to “trap” water from the Pedre and prevent it being lost to the sea.
Lefke Mayor Aziz Kaya confirmed the blockage at Cengizköy and that the water found its way to the sea from the stream between Yeşilyurt and Doğancı.
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