UPDATE: Missing driver found dead as shopkeepers blame Albufeira floods on authorities (video)

With Portugal’s new interior minister in the Algarve today to see first hand the swathe of devastation left by Sunday’s torrential rains, the missing driver whose car was found submerged in Boliqueime has been found dead.

At the same time Albufeira’s deputy mayor has declared that his borough has all the conditions to declare a state of calamity and shopkeepers have been speaking out against the folly of poor town planning.

Talking to Lusa, president of the seaside town’s retailers association Luís Alexandre has explained that wastewater drains placed in downtown Albufeira are much too narrow, making it impossible for easy drainage in times of heavy rains.

“The floods we had in 2008 were due to the fact that Polis and the local council had installed pipes of insufficient diameter,” he explained – adding “and on top of that walls had been constructed within the various drain boxes to stop the water getting to the beach”.

As a result, the force of water flowing through the pipes, doubled back on itself, lifting manhole covers and causing widespread flooding.

But as the recriminations rise to a crescendo, one family is in mourning for the elderly man who set out in his Smart car on Sunday to do some food shopping.

The local resident’s body was found early this morning by a GNR sniffer dog.

He is understood to have been discovered about 100 metres from his car which had been totally submerged in yesterday’s downpours.

Meantime, a citizens’ help page has started on Facebook, trying to coordinate efforts and identify who needs help and where.

As Albufeira SOS explains: “We are not asking for money donations at this time” – but it is trying to put people in touch with each other, and get practical donations through fast.

Two hours ago it posted: “If you are available now and have a shovel and wheel barrow, pack up a lunch for yourself and for other volunteers and make your way to Albufeira old town to see if you can help with the clear up.”

The Resident hopes to bring details of the visit by interior minister Calvão da Silva later this afternoon.

[email protected]




Video by: Ventura da Silva