Without once referring to the request for a ‘declaration of calamity’ over the devastating flood damages suffered in Albufeira last weekend, the government has authorised “immediate use” of three support funds to help victims and the local council get the town back on their feet.
According to TSF radio last night, mayor Carlos Sousa e Silva has yet to analyse what this actually means in financial terms – but stressed that the town needed all the help that it can get.
Meantime, recovery works – aided by throngs of volunteers – are going ahead with “great force and enthusiasm”, he said, with those in charge hoping they can restore the ‘baixa’ district to working order within the month.
Announcing the government’s decision to open up lines of emergency funding, Interior Minister Calvão da Silva named the three funds to be made available as: the emergency municipal fund, the social SOS fund and the Civil Protection national authority emergency account.
He added that now was the time to ensure that damages were properly quantified.
According to reports in the media this morning, Mayor Sousa e Silva calculates damages in the “millions of euros” – and he has stressed the fact that the government has failed to declare a state of public calamity for the town.
“Let’s see if the money made available is enough to cover all our needs,” he is quoted as telling Correio da Manhã – while the head of the town’s retailers association, Luís Alexandre, is described as equally wary.
There has been no sign of “real concern about the people” affected, he told the paper.
Yesterday, as the mop-up operation continued, 200 people joined the funeral cortege of Francisco Navio, 79 – the only fatality of the floodwaters that hurtled through the town as 102 litres of rain per square metre fell over the region in a matter of eight hours.
Cars destroyed top €1 million
Just in cars and vehicles destroyed in last Sunday’s storm damages are expected to top €1 million.
According to reports now completed, there was a total of 150 vehicles destroyed.
New Year parties
And despite the initial concerns that New Year would be a washout for the town that regularly holds incredible parties on Praia dos Pescadores, the town hall has confirmed this year’s party will be going ahead, with popular singer Anselmo Ralph as one of the star attractions.