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Portuguese Man O War Threat Easing

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After days of beach closures, the imminent threat to bathers over the invasion of Portuguese Man O War along the Costa Blanca appears to be easing.

Councils along the coastline have started to remove prohibition notices, with the popular resort of Torrevieja being the latest to lift the ban along the La Mata stretch, which had been closed since the 19th of May, as a precaution.

Municipal sources confirmed that as from 09:00 on Tuesday morning the 2 kilometre stretch of beach had reopened.

Concerns had been raised along the entire coast after a number of these creatures were found both washed up on the beaches and swimming in the sea close to the shore. There had been instances of bathers being stung, although no serious injuries were recorded.

In a neighbouring municipality, the local police posted a picture on their social media feeds showing how small these creatures can be, highlighting one next to a car key, as many visitors wrongly believed them to be of considerable size and easily noticeable, whereas the image showed the real reason why many beaches were also closed and being patrolled, not just the sea.

The siphonophore hidrozoo secretes a toxic substance urticante and, after reaching the Mediterranean from the Atlantic through the Strait of Gibraltar, in recent weeks has been displaced by wind turning from north to south to hit the coast.

Bathers are still advised to check and note warning on beaches, both signs and the flag colour, with red flags prohibiting bathing, yellow flags indicating caution, which could be flying for any actual reason, although the aim is simply for the protection of visitors to the beaches.

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