Edition 1442
23 September 2017
Edition: 1442

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Government to declare public calamity as risk of forest fires rises

by TPN/ Lusa, in News · 18-08-2017 12:12:00 · 0 Comments

Portugal's government is to declare a state of public calamity in view of the heightened fire risks in the next few days in the central and northern interior and in some parts of Beja district and the eastern Algarve.

Government to declare public calamity as risk of forest fires rises

 

In a statement sent to the media, the office of the prime minister, António Costa, said that in view of the forecast of higher risk of fires, particularly over the weekend, in the districts cited, "the government, by decree of the prime minister and the minister of internal administration, will declare a state of public calamity with preventive effects in those parts of the nation's territory."

 

For Friday, the statement added, Costa and the minister, Constança Urbano de Sousa, have called a meeting with the head of the armed forces, the general commander of the national guard (GNR), the national commander of rescue operations and the president of the Portuguese fire fighters' league, with a view to mobilising as many resources as possible and getting them in place in advance in the areas at greatest risk.

 

The government is also to be in touch with the mayors of the affected areas so as to identify other preventive measures that should be adopted, the statement said.

 

The public calamity is a legal state in which special rules apply for the hiring of labour by public sector bodies, as well as guaranteeing "free access" for civil defence forces to private property, and other measures.

 

It is foreseen in Portugal's basic law on civil defence, which states that it may be declared "in the face of the occurrence of danger of occurrence" of a serious accident or catastrophe, and includes a "special rules on public hiring of public works contractors, supply of goods and acquisition of services".

 

The declaration of a state of calamity does not alter the obligation of insurers to pay up when clients make valid claims, a spokesman for the Portuguese Insurers' Association said on Thursday.

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Edition 1442
23 September 2017
Edition: 1442

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter