by PAULO SILVESTRE AND DAISY SAMPSON
Carvoeiro parish council president has raised concerns about the state of the cliff west of Carvoeiro beach, which, he says, is a permanent risk for residents living in that area as well as beach goers.
Jorge Pardal told the Algarve Resident: “This is a dangerous situation for people who have houses in that area. A collapse could happen and security measures have to be taken to ensure the safety of residents and beach goers.”
Jorge Pardal has already alerted the Algarve water authority (ARH) about his concerns but the latter believe there is no immediate risk.
An ARH spokesman said this week: “There is no need for intervention, at least for the time being. There is always a risk that this type of cliff can crumble as it is worn by erosion but in this case, the risk is not immediate.” According to the ARH, technicians visited the site and determined that there is no imminent danger.
“We have analysed several factors and always make a systematic evaluation of the state of beach cliffs,” added the spokesman.
Before the start of the holiday season, more than 200 interventions were made to minimise the risk at 23 beaches in the Algarve.
Jorge Pardal said: “This particular cliff is quite eroded. There is a road that goes over it and houses that are just three metres from the cliff edge.”
Carvoeiro parish council has already taken action to reduce traffic on that road by banning heavy goods vehicles and limiting access to local residents only.
Philippa Ward, a British resident with a property on Rampa da Nossa Senhora da Encarnação, the road on the cliff in question, said: “I bought my property here knowing that the cliff was eroding but, to be honest, I can’t see it being a problem in my lifetime.
“There are always people talking about the cliff eroding but I am not worried about my property, although if action was taken now as a preventative measure, I would of course welcome this.”
She added: “Now only residents’ vehicles are allowed to come down this road which can only help but so many people ignore the sign. Perhaps signs in other languages would be helpful in stopping traffic.”
Carvoeiro resident Luís Santos said: “Large volumes of rocks have already fallen from the cliffs in Carvoeiro and the signs on the beach say that they are dangerous, but as for when the cliffs will erode further, who knows?”
He added: “Perhaps a big collapse will happen in five years, but perhaps it will be in 100 years. This is something that cannot be predicted or stopped in the end.”
Meanwhile, the number of rocks lying on Carvoeiro beach is still causing discontent among beach goers (see Algarve Resident August 27 edition).
Jorge Pardal said: “ARH authorised Carvoeiro parish council to take action to clean the beach of these rocks. We do not have the human and technical resources to perform this operation. ARH should be the responsible entity for such work.
“I blame ARH for their incompetence and having ignored this serious situation.”