Edition 1475
19 May 2018
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Portugal fire - EU pledges aid

in News · 18-06-2017 10:23:00 · 1 Comments

The EU has offered its condolences to Portugal in the wake of the Leiria forest fires and have pledged to do "all" to assist the country.

Portugal fire - EU pledges aid


Statement by Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides on the deadly forest fires in Portugal:


All our thoughts are with the families and friends of those affected by the deadly forest fires that have struck several parts of Portugal.

We express our condolences to those that have lost loved ones.


The EU is fully ready to help. All will be done to assist the authorities and people of Portugal at this time of need.


In an immediate response to a request for assistance by the Portuguese authorities, the EU's Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated to provide firefighting aircraft.


Immediately, France has offered three planes through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and they will be quickly sent to assist the local emergency efforts. In addition, Spain has also sent aircraft on a bilateral basis.


We commend the bravery of the firefighters and emergency services on the scene risking their own lives to save others.


The European Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC), which monitors natural disasters 24/7, is in constant contact with the national civil protection authorities.


The EU's emergency centre has sent a liaison officer to Portugal and will coordinate the delivery of support and any further requests.


What the authorities do not own up to is the level of stupidity excercised by portuguese people. We are constantly amazed by the sheer flagrant risk taking by members of the rural community. In the summer here the forests are tinder dry and we have 3 or 4 months will little or no rain. The rural community however still insist on burning parts of their land to clear for livestock with no regard for the consequences. In August when many emigrants return home for the summer everyone without exception lets of fireworks regardless of the time of day or taking into account conditions. The churches celebrate saints days by again letting off fireworks which fly randomly into the tinder dry undergrowth. The authorities put no limit or restrictions on the growth of certain trees. Eucalyptus are freely planted by everyone and when a Eucalyptus catches fire it burns in seconds at fierce temperatures. So Portugal is the forest fire capital of Europe, well with the help of the population it is little wonder why.
by Adrian from Porto on 21-06-2017 09:28:00

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Edition 1475
19 May 2018
Edition: 1475

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



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