By: ELOISE WALTON
HEAVY RAIN across the region during the early hours of Monday morning caused untreated water to be discharged into the sea from beaches along the central Algarve coastline.
The intense rainfall, which started around 1.40am and lasted for an hour, caused three sewage treatment stations to overfill and discharge excess untreated water into the sea.
A spokesman from the Algarve’s regional development commission, Comissão de Coordenação e Desenvolvimento Regional (CCDR), said that the discharges were from the Pescadores and Inatel beaches in the county of Albufeira and Carvoeiro beach in Lagoa.
The spokesman told The Resident on Tuesday that red flags were placed at the beaches as a precautionary measure. “The red flag has been removed from Carvoeiro beach. The water has all the necessary quality for the public to swim” said the spokesman. Albufeira’s beaches were due to have red flags until yesterday (Thursday), when a decision would be made by the CCDR, following further testing of the water quality on Wednesday.
Downtown Albufeira also suffered major flooding and thousands of euros worth of damages in the early hours of Monday morning, following around 45 minutes of heavy rainfall coupled with a high tide. Members of the firebrigade and GNR were called to help divert traffic away from the flooded streets as well as pump the water away as quickly as possible.
Albufeira’s Câmara vice-president, João Rolo, who was present at the scene of the flooding in the early hours of the morning, said that the Câmara had made 50 people and eight water pumps available to clean up the area and remove damaged items.
Several cars parked in underground car parks were affected by the flooding as well as well as shops, bars and restaurants, which make up most of the businesses in downtown Albufeira.
“We haven’t seen rain like this for a long time,” he said. “It was very strong and localised rain, but in some parts of Albufeira it hardly rained at all.”
João Rolo also said that the area was affected so badly because it used to be a stream and the water naturally accumulates there.
A study of the water table will be carried out, he said, so that action can be taken to avoid similar problems in the future, especially along Rua Cândido dos Reis, which was one of the worst affected streets.
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