A RUPTURED water mains pipe in Lisbon’s Santa Apolónia area wrecked havoc to houses, shops and cars last week.
A 50-year-old, 80cm diameter pipe burst in Rua do Paraíso, damaging 60 cars and flooding the ground floor of the Hospital da Marinha. Five thousand litres of water per second flooded the street, while in nearby Calçada do Cardeal at least five cars ended up in a hole caused by the rupture.
José Manuel Zenha, a spokesman for Empresa Portuguesa das Águas Livres (EPAL), the water company responsible for the mains pipe, said that the pipe was one of many which the company had on its list to replace by 2010.
A source at Hospital da Marinha said that most of its services were disrupted for two days, while the lower Santa Apolónia area was under water for hours, forcing the road to be closed, causing traffic chaos.