Though authorities advise people against doing so, several beachgoers continue to ‘set up camp’ near or right underneath risky cliffside areas at Algarve beaches.
The issue was highlighted by Portimão port captain Santos Pereira in a recent interview with Lusa news agency.
What’s worse is that maritime authorities cannot do anything to stop people from staying in these risky areas, except warn them that it is dangerous.
The issue is that cliff collapses, while not a hugely frequent occurrence, do happen from time to time.
At the end of June, two cliff collapses were registered just days away from each other at the Dona Ana beach in Lagos and the Vale Olival beach in Lagoa.
No one was sitting underneath the cliffs at the time but as the number of beachgoers increases as we enter the peak summer season, maritime authorities are more worried than ever.
And apparently with reason, as several beachgoers told Lusa that while they are “aware of the danger,” they will continue to look for and use shady areas near cliffs.
According to data from Portugal’s environmental agency (APA), 21 cliff collapses were registered in the Algarve between July 2015 and June 2016. The average amount of cliff falls registered per year is 12.
APA’s Sebastião Teixeira explained that the increase was caused by the November floods that devastated Albufeira last year, which affected the stability of the borough’s cliffs.
“Luckily none happened in areas that were being used by beachgoers, but staying in these risk areas is dangerous and puts people’s lives in danger.