A 60-year old man has died, three people have been very seriously injured and four people are missing after eight huge rocks fell from cliffs at the popular Maria Luisa beach at Albufeira at 11am this morning.
A politician from Porto, who owns a house in Albufeira, was at the scene when it took place.
The man, who did not want to be identified, has been holidaying in the area for eight years and said the rocks had been at risk of collapsing for years but the authorities had done nothing to prevent it.
“There is clearly a sign under the rocks that fell saying the rocks were at an imminent risk of collapse.”
The GNR, INEM, Policia Maritima, the Administraçio Regional Hydrografica, lifeguards and Socarro a Naufragos from Portimão are still at the scene.
“I went to help and rescue people who were trapped under the rocks; I saved three people who are all alive and well, one woman and two men who were aged between 30 and 50. One of the men was Spanish but I was unable to identify the nationality of the other two.
He added: “We stopped searching for people as we were too scared but the emergency services are now excavating the rocks to break them into smaller rocks so they are easier to move which means it will be easier for them to look for people who may still be trapped.”
Searches are continuing at the affected area to ensure that no other holidaymakers are still trapped under the rocks.
The area has been cordoned off by the emergency services, who arrived at the scene immediately.
Tourists were told to move away whilst the emergency services attempted to rescue anyone who was still trapped under the rocks.
The local camara has provided lifting equipment to help in the seach for the missing people.
Cavaco Silva, President of Portugal, is on holiday in Algarve and is currently visiting the scene.