Archive for June, 2017

Cascais – The Safe and Sunny Tourism Seminar breaks new ground

Monday, June 26th, 2017

The Safe and Sunny Holiday Seminar dealing with on-line fraud in the Global Tourism Industry was a great success attended by senior government officials and some 70 people overall.

The event jointly organised by Safe Communities Portugal and the Public Security Police, Metropolitan Police Command, held in Cascais, was the first of its type in Portugal, dealing with a highly complex issue that affects the travel industry, both here and many other countries.

The seminar was opened by the Presidente da Câmara Municipal de Cascais, Dr.Carlos Carreiras, and other officials namely the Deputy National Director of the Public Security Police, Superintendente- Chefe Torres; the  Comandante do Comando Metropolitano da PSP de Lisboa (Superintendente Jorge Maurício) and David Thomas President Safe Communities Portugal.  Dr. Carreiras emphasized the importance of tourism and its value to the local community and therefore the importance of reducing the risk of this type of fraud.

Other officials attending were Pedro Gasper Inspector General of ASAE, Dr. Gameiro Marques Director General Gabinete Nacional de Seguranca and Dra. Ana Catarina Director General Consumidor.

Over a period of some two hours the presenters shared their diverse experiences in areas such as fraud prevention, investigation, prosecution and consumer rights, including an overseas experience from the Deputy Head of Mission Australian Embassy in Lisbon.

The presenter from Consumidor Dra. Maria do Ceu Costa, gave an overview of the European structure of consumer rights protection and the rights of redress in cases of fraud, and the part Portugal plays in this.  Dr Eduardo Miranda outlined the work of Associação do Alojamento Local em Portugal on the ways to help prevent fraud and Dr.º Pedro Verdelho Gabinete Cibercrime da Procuradoria-Geral da República, outlined the challenges posed on determining where the crime was based, and the investigation and prosecutions of such crimes.

Comissário Iúri Rodrigues from the Public Security Police explained the police perspective from the Public Security Police point of view and Prof. Jim Litchko from Safe Communities Portugal outline the work of the association in fraud prevention and the cyber security threats.

David Thomas stated that it was clear that with the increasing number of tourists visiting Portugal, this could result in an increase in fraud as fraudsters are targeting the most popular travel periods and destinations.

All agreed that in booking holidays and accommodation there was a need to move away from an direct interbank payment system, which could easily be exploited by criminals and move instead to a credit card system where possible. It was noted that in the UK this was the advice of ABTA the British and Tourism Association, the police and others so it was important that the industry makes the changes necessary to accommodate this form of payment.

For those unable to attend this seminar Safe Communities Portugal and the Regional Tourism Algarve will be holding a similar presentation – date to be announced.

Navy sends 154 military personnel for safety and population support following fires

Monday, June 26th, 2017

The Portuguese Navy is sending 154 personnel to contribute to the immediate security and support of the population affected by the fire that began in Pedrógão Grande.

In a note sent to the Lusa agency, the Portuguese Navy stated that its task is to provide a visible presence to the population affected by the fire that killed 64 people and more than 200 injured, and carry out a georeference survey, including the Group Date Time (GDH) of the events, the capture of photographs of the burned areas and destroyed infrastructure.

In addition, the Navy will address the identity of the affected persons (name and age), provided prior consent is obtained, including lost property, chronic diseases (hypertension, diabetes, depression, etc.) that require more urgent assistance

They will also help distribute basic necessities for the affected population and to participate in the placement of tarpaulins in buildings that have lost their roofs.

The operation will also include creating and updating, a database with the following structure: “GDH event / geographical position / type of problem detected / Generic information, compiling situation data aftermath to provide to the local camera”.

The force is composed of nine members in the command post, plus 96 from Marine Corps 1 (FFZ1), eight from the health outpost, 24 from the field kitchen, five from maintenance, 10 from CIMIC (Civil Military Cooperation “) and one from the Center for Operational Analysis and also a Hydrographic Institute.

The Navy adds that the operational command of the Force is Naval Command, the logistical support is from the Marine Corps and that the commander of the forces on the spot is the commander of Marine Battalion No. 2.

The coordination and setting of objectives are carried out by the Pedrógão Grande Chamber, through a CIMIC (civil-military cooperation) cell to be installed with support from the Navy in the chamber, assigning specialized military personnel to guarantee its permanent operation.

The liaison is made with the local Fire Department, local GNR, other support structures for the population, whether of the State and / or voluntary.

PJ holds woman suspected of starting a forest fire in Lamego

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

A 52-year-old woman was detained for being “heavily indicted” for a forest fire crime in Lamego, Viseu district, last Sunday, 18.

The detainee is “suspected of having started a fire in a forest area, located in the Serra das Meadas, in Lamego,” reads a press release from the Judiciary Police (PJ) sent to the media, stating that the fire was registered in the ” On June 18, 2017, at about 11.45 am “, endangering a” vast forest and habitat “and which were not consumed due to the swift intervention of the combatants, namely firefighters.

The detained will be presented the judicial interrogation to apply the coercion measures deemed appropriate.

The Judiciary Police identified and have arrested 20 people for the crime of forest fire so far this year.

Forest Fire Risk warning issued by ANPC – 23rd June

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

Following the contact with the IPMA, the ANPC has issued the following warning on 23rd June

For the next 48 hours, a very high risk of maximum fire in the northern and central interior regions and in the southern region, PARTICULARLY IN THE ALGARVE.

The following is highlighted: – Slight rise in maximum temperature in the south (30ºC – 35ºC) until Saturday, June 24; – Today and tomorrow (June 24), the relative humidity will be below 30% in the interior regions of the continent and HR <20% in the interior of the Alentejo and Algarve, increasing to higher levels during night, except in the Algarve

On 24th June, moderate wind (up to 30 km / h) from the northwest on the west coast and in the highlands, especially during the afternoon; – On Sunday (25 June), moderate wind (up to 35 km / h) from north quadrant, especially on the coast south of Cape Mondego until early morning and during the afternoon; – From 24 June (Saturday) some instability is expected with very low probability of weak and dispersed showers, thunderstorms and convective bursts.

2. EXPECTED AFFECTS
Depending on the forecast of the evolution of the weather conditions, it is expected: – Hot weather and moderate to strong wind, with favourable conditions for the eventual occurrence and propagation of forest fires.

3. PREVENTIVE MEASURES
The ANPC recalls that, in accordance with the legal provisions in force, it is not allowed: – Burn fires or, bonfires for recreation or leisure, or for cooking food; – Use of burning and combustion equipment for lighting or cooking foods – To burn cut and mowed bushes and any type of debris – The launching of any types of fireworks, Smoking or making fire of any kind in the forest spaces and pathways that surround them’.
The ANPC also recalls some precautions to be taken To keep the agricultural machines and equipment clean of oils and dust; – Supply the machines in cold and in a place with little vegetation; – Be careful of the sparks during their handling, avoiding their use during periods of high heat.

Considering the foreseeable temperatures, the ANPC also recommends special attention to health care, paying particular attention to the most vulnerable groups, such as children, the elderly and the chronically ill. Full advice concerning hight temperatures here:
https://www.safecommunitiesportugal.com/temperature-extremes/

Pay special attention to the evolution of the fire danger for the next days , In consultation with the IPMA digital site, the Forest Technical Offices of the Municipalities and Fire Departments.

Portugal Fires – Situation Report – 22nd June 1100 hrs – Embassy contact list

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

Following the in Pedrógão Grande fire which is now in the final stages of conclusion, the fire close-by in Góis, Combria was brought under control at 0741 hrs today Thursday 22nd June after five days of firefighting.

At the site are 1010 operational, supported by 284 vehicles. The units will remain and will be reinforced with four heavy aircraft – Canadair – and two heavy helicopters.

Air assets will “help consolidate and cool the perimeter of the fire,” Civil Protection operational commander Carlos Luís Tavares said in a statement to reporters at at 0800 hrs on Thursday.

In view of the high temperatures that are expected for the region, Carlos Luís Tavares estimates that “reactivations may happen”, and that is the reason to keep the current device on the ground. “We’re going to have a lot of work to consolidate the aftermath,” he said, noting that “the fire’s perimeter is too large.”

According to the official, about 20,000 hectares of forest will have been burned in the f in Góis fire.
Note:
For overseas tourists planning to travel in areas which may be affected by the fires please contact your respective Embassies for information. The complete list can be downloaded here:
http://www.lisbon-guide.info/facts_visitor/embassies

Portugal: At least 62 people killed in forest fires northeast of Lisbon

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

Our condolences go to the relatives and friends of at least 62 persons(including four children) who have died in a huge forest fire to the north east of Lisbon, as well as over 60 who have been injured including six firefighters.

The Prime Minister will decree this Sunday national mourning.

A huge forest fire in central Portugal has killed at least 62 people and injured over 60 others, most of them burning to death in their cars, the government said this morning (Sunday 18th June).

Several hundred firefighters and 160 vehicles were dispatched late on Saturday to tackle the blaze, which broke out in the afternoon in the municipality of Pedrogao Grande before spreading fast across several fronts.

IMPORTANT UPDATE 10.16 HRS. SCP have contacted ANPC and have requested whether any special telephone number has been set up so loved ones can enquire about missing relatives. They have informed us that all enquiries should be made through respective Embassies of the nationalities concerned. Enquiries can be directed at the ANPC national headquarters in Lisbon for Portuguese who may be missing on 214247100.

Concerning missing British nationals the area can contact the FCO Global Response Centre through the Embassy in Lisbon at (351) 213924000 press 1 for English and then 4 to be contacted to the centre.

Latest news

Earlier this Sunday morning, the fire still burns with great intensity. 7:05 am – According to the Civil Protection 682 operational, supported by 219 vehicles, are mobilized to fight the flames in the Pedrógão grande. The fire remains out of control. Very near there, a fire in Góis a total of 387 operational and 118 vehicles have been mobilized

A field hospital is set up in the next few hours and reinforcements are coming in to fight the fire. The fire has already passed to the municipality of Figueiró dos Vinhos, also in the district of Leiria.

According to Lusa, several fire engines were destroyed by fire. The forest fire is threatening several houses in Pedrogão Grande.

Due to the flames, the GNR closed some roads of the zone, among them, Itinerario Complementar 8 (IC8), in the exits of the industrial area of ​​Pedrógão Grande and Outão. The forest fire is threatening several houses in Pedrogão Grande.

Due to the flames, the GNR closed some roads of the zone, among them, Itinerario Complementar 8 (IC8), in the exits of the industrial area of ​​Pedrógão Grande and Outão. The forest fire is threatening several houses in Pedrogão Grande. Due to the flames, the GNR closed some roads of the zone, among them, Itinerario Complementar 8 (IC8), in the exits of the industrial area of ​​Pedrógão Grande and Outão.

More details of the incident 

“Unfortunately this seems to be the greatest tragedy we have seen in recent years in terms of forest fires,” the visibly moved Prime Minister Antonio Costa said.

“The number of fatalities could still rise,” he said at the Civil Protection headquarters near Lisbon. “The priority now is to save those people who could still be in danger.”

Portugal was sweltering under a severe heatwave on Saturday, with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in several regions.

Around 60 forest fires broke out across the country during the night, with 1,700 firefighters battling to put them out.

Secretary of state for the interior Jorge Gomes said earlier that 22 people burned to death in their cars when they found themselves trapped by flames on the road between Figueiro dos Vinhos and Castanheira de Pera.

Three others died from smoke inhalation. Sixteen people were injured, including five firefighters. Two of those were seriously injured.

The flames spread “with great violence”, moving out on four fronts, Gomes said.

Dry thunderstorms could have been the cause of the fatal blaze, according to the prime minister.

A number of villages were affected by the main fire and evacuation procedures had been put in place for some of them, Costa added. Officials were not immediately able to comment on the extent of the damage.

Spain dispatched two water-bombing planes on Sunday morning to aid the Portuguese fire service on the ground, the prime minister said.

Costa said a period of national mourning would be announced shortly.

President Marcelo Rebelo went to the Leiria region to meet families of the victims, “sharing their pain in the name of all the Portuguese people,” he said. Firefighters did “all they could” when faced with the blaze, he added.

 

“Unfortunately this seems to be the greatest tragedy we have seen in recent years in terms of forest fires,” the visibly moved Prime Minister Antonio Costa said.

“The number of fatalities could still rise,” he said at the Civil Protection headquarters near Lisbon. “The priority now is to save those people who could still be in danger.”

Portugal was sweltering under a severe heatwave on Saturday, with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in several regions.

Around 60 forest fires broke out across the country during the night, with 1,700 firefighters battling to put them out.

 

President Marcelo Rebelo went to the Leiria region to meet families of the victims, “sharing their pain in the name of all the Portuguese people,” he said. Firefighters did “all they could” when faced with the blaze, he added.

Fire Surveillance teams already patrol Madeira

Saturday, June 17th, 2017

180 people are engaged in patrolling for fire prevention

The sierras of Madeira are, as of today, provided with teams to patrol and vigilance thanks to the Operative Plan of Combat to Forest Fires. The Secretary for Social Inclusion and Social Affairs stated this was in an initiative that aimed to mark the start of this plan, which extends until October 15, with the aim of preventing the ignition of forest fires.

Rubina Leal stressed, however, that if necessary, this surveillance could extend for more days. All of the Region’s fire brigades are committed to this plan which will feature patrolling throughout the island. “You have to be aware that, for example, this year, 193 ignitions have started in the woods,” said the secretary.

GNR is also committed to this plan, which has existed for three years, in order to detect and prevent early forest and forest fires. The government also counts on the population to give the alert in case of fire starts.

In total 180 people are involved in this initiative. Regarding the use of air resources, Rubina Leal says she is still waiting for the report to assess if the use of these resources is required.

In addition, 10 hectares have been cleared in the sierras of Madeira in order to prevent forest fires and the resources of the firefighters have been strengthened. However, there is also an international tender for the acquisition of 18 vehicles that reinforce corporations in the Region.

Rubina Leal also added that, weekly, atmospheric conditions are evaluated in order to take preventive action. “Everybody is perfectly aware of what they have to do to prevent fires” she said.

19-year-old firefighter who is alleged to have started fires arrested by Judicial Police

Saturday, June 17th, 2017

The firefighter was held in custody after being arrested by the Judicial Police in Coimbra on suspicion of five forest fires.

A source from the Center’s directorate told the Lusa news agency that the young man was arrested on 13th June, in compliance with a warrant issued by the Department of Investigation and Criminal Action of (DIAP) of Coimbra, and he was sentenced to pre-trial detention the following day after Judicial interrogation.

The fires were started in bush, eucalyptus and pine trees in Marmeleira, Souselas, in the municipality of Coimbra, between April 4 and May 25, and burned an area of ​​approximately 20,000 square meters.

The suspect started the fires using a direct flame (lighter) according to a statement from the PJ.

“It just did not reach higher proportions due to the prompt intervention of the firemen,” says the same source, noting that the firefighter belongs to a corporation outside the district of Coimbra.

Plane makes manoeuvre to avoid collision with drone when landing in Cascais

Saturday, June 17th, 2017

An Aero Vip plane had to perform a manoeuvre on 16th June to avoid a collision with a drone at 300 meters altitude, when it was approaching to land at Cascais Aerodrome.

The pilot stated “On approaching runway 35 in Cascais I glimpsed an object that I thought was a bird. As I approached, I realized that it was a large drone of four rotors. I descended to avoid collision with the ‘drone’, which passed about five meters above the left wing, “Jorge Cernadas told Lusa.

The commander added that the incident occurred at 6:00 p.m., at a time when the drone was about 300 meters above sea level on the line of flight that followed the plane of the village of Tires in the district of Lisbon, within “two or three minutes of landing”.

The Dornier 228, with 14 people on board, was then already in the landing configuration and with the undercarriage down.

The pilot classifies the incident, something that had never happened to him before, as “very serious.”

“Recovery of two ” French bulldogs””

Saturday, June 17th, 2017

On 14th June at 23.00hrs the PSP Metropolitan Command of Lisbon (Public Transport Division) , recovered in the Loures area two French Bulldogs, and €950 euros.

About two hours earlier, the dogs had been stolen from their owner when the owner was delivering them to the alleged buyer (the sale and delivery of the dogs had been arranged through an internet buying and selling website).

Around 21.30 hrs, the owner of the dogs reported at a police station in Lisbon that, shortly before, when delivering the dogs to the alleged buyer who was in a vehicle, the buyer was accompanied by two other suspects, who fled with the canines without payment.

The PSP started an investigation and by 23.00hrs located the dogs in the Loures area, whereupon they were returned to its owner.

The PSP provide the following advice to sellers and buyers in using online platforms,

  • Try to choose public places and avoid locations without witnesses, when making a transaction (i.e. delivery/purchase of an item
  • Do not give too much personal information. Remember that you are only with the seller to finalize the transaction;
  • Make the payment securely and preferably in cash. Avoid Bank transfers, unless you are absolutely sure about the seller’s trustworthiness.