Algarve battered by heavy rains   .jpg

Algarve battered by heavy rains  

By: ELOISE WALTON

eloise@the-resident.com

HEAVY RAINS and stormy weather wreaked havoc across the Algarve at the weekend, causing widespread flooding, accidents and fallen trees.

According to a spokesman from the national Civil Protection authority (ANPC), a total of 16 millimetres of rain fell in just 20 minutes on Saturday morning.

Portugal’s meteorological institute put the Algarve under a yellow alert situation, the second on a scale of four, throughout the weekend until midnight on Monday.

Out of the 16 councils in the Algarve, only Alcoutim and Monchique did not register any damage related to the heavy rains that fell on Saturday and Sunday, which led to a total of 257 operations carried out by the emergency services.

Vitor Pinto, the operational district commander, said that of the 257 emergencies registered, there were 14 road accidents, which left seven people injured, 231 floods, eight fallen trees, two landslides and the fall of an advertisement panel and an electricity cable.

Flooding

Commercial establishments such as restaurants and shops, ground floor homes, underground car parks, garages and cellars as well as vehicles were worse affected by the flooding in the region.

He also said that a total of 402 vehicles and 1,144 people from the civil protection authority, fire brigades, GNR, INEM and PSP police were involved in the cleanup and rescue operations in those two days.

Quarteira, Faro and Olhão were the area most affected by the heavy rainfall on both days, with more than 10 families affected by flooding in Olhão.

Francisco Leal, Olhão Câmara President, said on Sunday: “We are recording all of the problems that have occurred and will help in cases where justified.”

Downtown Albufeira, which was hit by the heavy rainfall on September 22, suffered more flooding again at the weekend.

Albufeira Câmara President Desidério Silva said that all of the damage to homes, businesses and property will be recorded by the Câmara so that action can be taken to minimise its effects. 

Recommendations

In case of strong rains, the ANPC recommends that people pay attention to warnings and recommendations given by the authorities and keep checking the situation to minimise the risk of further flooding and accidents which could be caused by heavy rains this winter.

They also recommend that people ensure that fluvial drainage systems are not blocked, that there are no objects which could be dragged by flood waters and that guttering and pipes are clean and clear.

Windows and doors should be closed during heavy rains and loose equipment such as bins should be tidied away, so that they are not dragged by heavy winds and rain.

The ANPC also raises awareness of sheets of water which can form on roads, making them dangerous and increasing the risk of accidents.

Portugal’s meteorological institute publishes up to date weather reports on its website, available in English and Portuguese, at www.meteo.pt.

Boats damaged in storm



SEVERAL YACHTS and boats suffered thousands of euros worth of damage in ports and boatyards across the Algarve because of a storm that swept the region on Sunday.

A small number of yachts were severely damaged when a small tornado hit the Sopramar boatyard in Lagos on Sunday evening, around 8.30pm. A spokesman from the boatyard told The Resident on Wednesday: “Four boats were damaged in total, but the insurance companies have been informed. We have no idea yet how much the damages will cost.”

Two seven-metre long boats were also damaged in the port of Quarteira.

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