AT LEAST two people died in the widespread floods that hit Lisbon after torrential rain storms on Sunday night.
Lisbon, Cascais, Oeiras, Loures, Belas and Sintra were among the worst areas affected in the Greater Lisbon area, seeing 30mm of rain between 4am and 5am.
Accompanied by thunder and lightning, the storm provoked hundreds of calls to emergency services: 180 to fire services, 70 to Lisbon’s Municipal Police, around 70 to the Municipal Civil Protection, and at least 283 to the general PSP and GNR police services.
In Belas, two women, aged 30 and 29, were drowned after their car was swept into the River Jamor after floodwaters broke its banks.
Fifteen people were left homeless in Loures, another 15 in Camarate, while homes, shops, offices and the Ministry of Education were flooded out on Lisbon’s Avenida 24 de Julho.
The storm caused road and rail chaos: the Campo Grande and Campo Pequeno underpass tunnels were closed to traffic, Sete Rios station and Jardim Zoológico Metro were both closed until the morning.
There were widespread electricity cuts to 15,000 residents in Oeiras, Cascais and Abóbada with power only returning to many households at 11.40am.
Gas supplies were cut in Alvalade and traffic lights were out of action in various parts of the city.
Stretches of national highways at Belas (250), Trajouce (249), the Estrada Nacional 8 between Santo António de Cavaleiros and the Estrada Nacional 10 (Sacavém-Vila Franca de Xira) were all closed to traffic.
The emergency services also closed off stretches of road on the Benfica Radial (Amadora-Aeroporto), the Senhor Roubado roundabout and a stretch of road to Calçada de Carriche. The access road onto the A8 at Frielas, Loures, where a coach got stuck on a bridge and 189 adults and seven children had to be rescued, was also closed.
“I had never seen anything like it in such a small period of time. It was freak, causing homes and shops to be flooded and roads under water,” said António Vinagre from the Lisbon Fire-fighting unit. (Sapadores de Bombeiros).
Nationwide, four areas of Portugal – Lisbon, Beja, Faro and Castelo Branco – were on Yellow Alert until mid-morning while the rest of the country was placed on Green Alert.
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