Archive for September, 2019

GOVERNO PRORROGA PERÍODO CRÍTICO DE INCÊNDIOS

Monday, September 30th, 2019

O Governo decidiu prorrogar o período crítico de incêndios até ao próximo dia 10 de outubro, no âmbito do Sistema de Defesa da Floresta Contra Incêndios. O Despacho do Secretário de Estado das Florestas e do Desenvolvimento Rural, Miguel Freitas, publicado hoje em Diário da República, assinala a previsão da “manutenção do risco de incêndio rural em níveis elevados, (…) Tendo em consideração as circunstâncias meteorológicas prováveis para os primeiros dez dias do mês de outubro, de temperaturas com valores acima do que é o padrão para a época, uma baixa probabilidade de ocorrência de precipitação com uma previsão do nível de precipitação abaixo da média, com tendência para tempo seco e quente em todo o território nacional.

Durante o período crítico de incêndios, nos espaços florestais ou agrícolas, é proibido:
• fumar, fazer lume ou fogueiras;
• fazer queimas ou queimadas;
• lançar foguetes e balões de mecha acesa;
• fumigar ou desinfestar apiários, salvo se os fumigadores estiverem equipados com dispositivos de retenção de faúlhas;
• fazer circular, ou utilizar, tratores, máquinas e veículos de transporte pesados que não possuam extintor, sistema de retenção de fagulhas ou faíscas e tapa chamas nos tubos de escape ou chaminés.
Face às condições descritas, considera-se necessário continuar a adotar as medidas e ações especiais de prevenção de incêndios florestais, que decorrem durante o período crítico, no âmbito do Sistema de Defesa da Floresta contra Incêndios.
Lisboa, 30 de setembro de 2019

Government Extends Critical Fire Period unitil 10th October 2019

Monday, September 30th, 2019

The government today extended the critical period of fires until October 10, under the Forest Fire Defence System, due to the forecast of dry and hot weather, the executive announced today.

In an order of the Secretary of State for Forests and Rural Development, Miguel Freitas, published today in Diário da República, it is stated that the critical period is extended until October 10 due to the forecast of “maintaining the risk of rural fire at high levels”. .

The most critical fireworks season ended today, with a reduction in resources in the first half of October, which would be greater from the 15th.

At stake are “probable weather conditions for the first 10 days of October, temperatures above the standard for the season, a low probability of precipitation with a below-average rainfall level forecast, with a tendency to dry and hot weather throughout the national territory ”, is mentioned in the order.

Thus, according to the Government’s note, during the critical period of fire, in forest or agricultural spaces, smoking, firing or burning fires, burning or burning, launching rockets and burning balloons and fumigating or disinfecting apiaries is prohibited, unless the fumigators are equipped with spark arresters.

It is also prohibited to circulate, or use, tractors, machinery and heavy transport vehicles that do not have a fire extinguisher, spark or spark arrest system and flame arrestors in the exhaust pipes or chimneys.

Data available on the website of the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests (ICNF) indicates that this year, until September 27, 10,289 rural fires broke out, reaching 41,006 hectares, 51% of forest stands, 38% of forests and 11 % of agriculture.

As of July 1, a total of 4,888 rural fires had struck, affecting 9,705 hectares of forests, 41% of them in forest stands, 43% in bushland and 17% in agricultural areas.

Azores Regional Government prepares the necessary measures to face Hurricane Lorenzo

Sunday, September 29th, 2019

The Regional Secretary of Health stated yesterday (28th September) in Angra do Heroísmo that the Government of the Azores “is taking all steps to address” the situation resulting from Hurricane Lorenzo and “providing effective support to all occurrences that may occur”.

Teresa Machado Luciano spoke at a press conference to present “the evolving situation regarding the passage of Hurricane Lorenzo through the archipelago”.

The President of the Regional Civil Protection and Fire Protection Service of the Azores (SRPCBA) said that “according to the IPMA, it will be the eastern part of the hurricane that will have the most intensity, thus affecting the Central Group more aggressively”. However, this is “a projection that may change over the next few days”.

Carlos Neves said that Civil Protection “is making contacts with all Civil Protection agents and all entities with responsibility in this area, such as Municipalities, Municipal Civil Protection Service, Regional Directorate of Public Works and Communications, Regional Directorate Health, Armed Forces, PSP, all elements that can contribute to the

“We will also increase prehospital emergency capacity on islands that have only one Health Center, namely Graciosa and Flores, with the activation of the SIV service,” said the President of SRPCBA.

“At Pico and Faial, the SIV service will cover 24 hours and we are checking with the Regional Health Directorate to reinforce some more island health facilities,” he added.

Meanwhile the IPMA estimates that Hurricane Lorenzo is “more than 80 percent,” to hit the Azores with gusts of up to 150 kms per hour and waves exceeding 20 meters.

Hurricane Lorenzo has set a record for being the strongest ever to make it so far east in the Atlantic Ocean.

Hurricane Lorenzo, Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, according to the IPMA statement, was yesterday at 09:00 UTC (10:00 am in Lisbon), 2510 kms southwest of the Azores and moving to north / northwest at a speed of 17 kms per hour.

IPMA forecasts for the western group of the archipelago (Flores and Corvo Islands), according to the latest available data, south quadrant wind gusts up to 150 kms per hour, heavy rain and southwest waves with “significant height between 10 and 12 metres”.

Four GNR military defendants accused of Tancos in disciplinary proceedings opened by IGAI

Saturday, September 28th, 2019

Lisbon, 27 Sep 2019 (Lusa) – The Inspector General of Internal Affairs (IGAI) revealed today that four GNR military personnel involved in the Tancos case have been constituted defendants in disciplinary proceedings.

“Four disciplinary proceedings are pending before IGAI in which GNR military defendants were now charged in the criminal case” of Tancos, says the agency that monitors police activity, in a reply sent to the Lusa agency.
IGAI states that an investigation is also pending.

Six military officers from the National Guard Republic have been accused by the Public Prosecution Service (MP) of involvement in the case of theft and recovery of weapons from the Tancos military base, and denial of justice and prevarication and personal favouritism practiced by an employee.

The MP requires as accessory penalties for these six defendants of GNR the suspension of duties and the ban on the use and possession of weapons.

Among the GNR defendants accused in the case of Tancos are a sergeant, two guards, a lieutenant colonel and two colonels.
The theft of war material was reported by the Army on June 29, 2017.
Four months later, PJM revealed the appearance of stolen material in the Chamusca region, 20 kms from Tancos, in collaboration with members of the GNR de Loulé criminal investigation nucleus.

The MP today accused 23 people, including the former defence minister in the case of theft and weapons recovery. Defendants are charged with terrorism, criminal association, denial of justice, malfeasance, falsification of documents, influence peddling, abuse of power, retention and possession of a prohibited weapon.

The case shook the military, led to the resignation of Azeredo Lopes in 2018 and the controversy surrounding the theft, made public by the Army on June 29, 2017 with the indication that it had occurred the previous day, rose in tone after the apparent, recovery of material in the Chamusca region of Santarém district in October 2017, in an operation of the Military Judicial Police (PJM).

Nine of the 23 defendants are accused of planning and executing the theft and the remaining 14, including Azeredo Lopes, of the staging that led to the recovery of the equipment.

PSP detain two persons for using counterfeit 100 Euro bank notes

Thursday, September 26th, 2019

In Guimarães, Braga district, PSP detained two 19-year-olds for counterfeiting and seized five counterfeit 100-euro notes.

In a statement, PSP said that the suspects, with counterfeit 100-euro notes, went to shops and obtained low-value goods, paying with the counterfeit and receiving the amount corresponding to the change.

In each situation they caused a monetary loss of about 95 euros to the merchant.

After learning that several counterfeit currency situations were occurring, PSP detained the suspects and seized five counterfeit 100-euro notes, in addition to 740 euros and a mobile phone.

“Later, as a result of further enquiries in the vicinity of the shops where this took place, two more suspects were identified and a car seized,” the statement added.

The detainees will be taken to the Judicial Court of Guimarães for the first interrogation and application of bail conditions.

Four arrested for international drug trafficking at Lisbon airport

Thursday, September 26th, 2019

LISBON, Sept. 25, 2019 (Lusa) – Three foreign nationals and one Portuguese were arrested at Lisbon airport on suspicion of cocaine trafficking, the Judiciary Police announced today.

According to PJ’s National Anti-Drug Trafficking Unit (UNCTE), the arrests occurred in recent days, following information gathered in an investigation that determined that “two of the detainees were to land at Lisbon Airport from a South American country, carrying a high amount of cocaine with them in suitcases “.

“When those suspects were intercepted, PJ found that they were carrying a high amount of cocaine that was seized and that, if it reached illicit distribution circuits, would be sufficient for the composition of at least 132,500 individual doses,” PJ said in a statement.

Later due diligence made it possible to locate and detain in Lisbon two other suspects who, according to the evidence gathered, were the addressees of the seized drug.

The detainees, three men and one woman, aged between 20 and 51, were subjected to the first judicial interrogation to enforce coercive measures.

The investigation is carried out by UNCTE PJ.

Secretary of State for Civil Protection Resigns from office

Thursday, September 19th, 2019

The Secretary of State for Civil Protection has resigned on personal grounds after being made a defendant in the investigation into the purchase of smoke-free collars.

The Minister of Home Affairs accepted Artur Neves’ resignation and passed the decision to the Prime Minister, the ministry said in a statement.

Also The president of the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority, Mourato Nunes,  has been made a defendant, denying that he was involved in the case of smoke collars, in which he is accused.

In a note sent to the media sent by ANEPC, the Lieutenant General confirms, however, that on Wednesday morning he was made a defendant. The former GNR Gerneral Commander adds that he will continue to “actively collaborate with justice”, but will nevertheless “exercise all the rights that the said [defendant] statute confers on him, in his defence and in order to establish the truth”

The Ministry of Internal Administration, the Secretary of State for Civil Protection and the headquarters of the National Emergency Authority for Civil Protection (ANPC) were searched on 18th September by the National Anti-Corruption Unit (UNCC) of the Judicial Police, due to the purchase of 70 thousand flammable smoke collars, under the “Safe Village” program. José Artur Neves was made a defendant in this case.

In a note sent to the newsrooms by the Prime Minister’s office, it can be read that António Costa accepted the resignation request of the Secretary of State for Civil Protection. “On this occasion I would like to thank Artur Neves for the decisive contribution to the way in which the changes in Civil Protection operations took place and were implemented, especially in the implementation of the reform of the Integrated Rural Fire Management System, and his personal commitment was decisive in the results”.

According to the authorities, there are indications of negotiations between suppliers of prevention and sensitization material – such as the smoke collars, denounced by JN – and senior officials of Civil Protection and the State. The Secretary of State for Civil Protection, José Artur Neves, resigned after being searched at home and in his office, and was accused. It will not be the only one.

At stake are the Safe Village, Safe People and Automatic Population Notification programs, with subsidy fraud, economic participation in business and corruption suspected.

São Miguel Island – Person identifies in connection with the theft of gold items from a resident

Tuesday, September 17th, 2019

São Miguel Island – Person identified in connection with the theft of gold items from a resident

Police from the Ponta Delgada Police Division Criminal Investigation Squad, as part of several investigations that began on September 3, conducted house searches on September 11, resulting in the identification and constitution as a defendant, a woman of 38 years old.

She is suspected of having committed a theft crime occurring inside the residence where she was serving as a maid and carer.

From the investigations carried out, it was possible to find evidence that indicates the person is the perpetrator of the crime. The PSP seized almost all the stolen gold articles inside the house, which were valued at about 10,000 euros.

 

Some 7000 operative dealt with 25 major fires on 13th and 14th September

Tuesday, September 17th, 2019

SOME 7000 OPERATIVES DEALT WITH MAJOR FIRES ON 13th & 14TH SEPTEMBER

The Minister of Internal Affairs expressed, on Tuesday, recognition for the dedication and responsiveness of Civil Protection professionals who, in the first 15 days of the month, faced more than 2000 rural fires, some large.

Speaking to journalists at the end of an extended meeting of members of the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority (ANEPC) in Carnaxide, Eduardo Cabrita stated that in the first 15 days of September there were 2,158 rural fires, which contributed to 10,000 hectares of burned land.

“Looking at the balance of the year, so far we have encouraging results,” said the minister, noting that there is a 41% reduction in the number of occurrences compared to the average of the last 10 years, while between January 1 and September 16 this year there is 63% burned area, below the average of the last decade.

Despite these results, which he described as “encouraging”, Eduardo Cabrita assured that the surveillance (of the GNR, with the help of the armed forces) and the prepositioning of the resources will continue in the coming days, although the risk levels are lower but with caution because of “some atmospheric uncertainties”.

The minister welcomed the fact that in the “toughest 15 days of this year” in the field of preventing and combating rural fires, civil protection professionals responded as they did and expressed their solidarity with those who were affected by the events, in which a pilot was killed and three dozen injured, especially among firefighters.

Of the four operatives who suffered serious injuries, they are all safe from danger, said Eduardo Cabrita.

In the retrospective of the last 15 days, the minister highlighted three large fires – Sertã, Miranda do Corvo and Valpaços -, which involved in some cases close to a thousand operational.

According to Eduardo Cabrita, the peak of firefighting intervention occurred from Friday to Saturday, with the intervention of 7000 operatives in 25 fires of significant dimensions.

Overcoming the difficulties, the minister also underlined the sensitization work with the populations and the true “safety culture” that was created to avoid risky behaviour in a particularly severe climate on the continent.

According to Eduardo Cabrita, it is now time to continue the work in various areas to protect the forest and to begin “preparing for the future summer”

Safe Communities Recognized as a Civil Protection Volunteer Organisation

Monday, September 16th, 2019

Safe Communities Portugal has become one of only a handful of organisations in Portugal to be recognized as a Voluntary Civil Protection Organisation (ODVC) in accordance with the provisions of in the Civil Protection Basic Law.

The recognition, recently announced by the ANEPC, covers the areas of “communication, information and facilitating training to the population concerning the prevention of collective risks and the minimization of the consequences arising from the occurrence of serious accidents or catastrophes by raising awareness of self-protection matters. In addition: to provide cooperation in relief and assistance to people, integrated in the global response effort in the event of a serious accident or catastrophe”.

This follows the partnership formed between the ANEPC and SCP in the form of a collaboration protocol at the end of 2015, and the declaration of the association as an “Utilidade Pública in the area of civil protection and crime prevention by the Council of Ministers in 2018.

David Thomas President of SCP stated that our official recognition as an ODVC, reflects the considerable work we have undertaken with various government entities particular in the area of rural fire prevention and self- protection with around 15 projects over the last 18 months, to benefit the foreign community and tourists. We have established the foundation stones as an organisation that provides a reliable and professional service to the community. This recognition represents the trust that government has in our work and the importance that government attaches to the safety of all communities both residents and visitors.

Secretary of State for Tourism, Ana Mendes Godinho, welcomed the news stating “ I am very pleased that Safe Communities Portugal has been awarded the status of “Civil Protection Volunteer Organisation” (one of only nine in Portugal), as it reflects their hard work, availability and commitment, and is well deserved. This will further enable SCP to keep up their good work to the benefit of the public, tourists and foreigners living in Portugal.”

She added “Safe Communities has been working very closely with Tourism stakeholders and the Portuguese Government over the last three years. This close collaboration has focused on the importance of ensuring the safety of tourists who visit Portugal and those who live here. It is important that we do everything we can to ensure visitors know what preventive and self-protection steps to take in case of emergency. Safe Communities Portugal has been a key player in helping to improve awareness and communication concerning safety, assuring all the important information is translated into English and other languages”.

National Director Emergency Planning ANEPC José Oliveira stated that “SCP has been developing a constant activity in the area of ​​awareness and risk communication, aimed at the foreign language community residing and visiting Portugal.

He added “SCP has been instrumental in making relevant information available on its website as well as in translating self-protection leaflets related to rural fires into several languages. It has also boosted the participation of the foreign community resident in Portugal to participate in workshops and awareness raising actions, as was the case of the Monchique workshop in 2018, with the collaboration of two international experts in the field of resilience of rural communities”.

Further the “ANEPC recognizes the importance of SCP in the constant communication and translation of Portuguese to different languages, through its channels, with emphasis on social networks, notices to the population, as well as the legislation in the area of ​​natural and technological risks, complementing. This Authority’s risk communication activity is very effective for the foreign community resident or visiting Portugal, a country for which tourism has a strong weight in its economy”.

David Thomas concluded that to obtain this recognition meant that we had to undertake a training program, illustrate our track record of past activities and our business plan for the future, as well as meeting the various administrative and legal requirements. Inevitably a great deal of work involved, but I believe the outcome is worth it”. We thank everyone for their support.

Other associations similarly recognized at the: Amateur Aerospace Observatory Association (AMSAT-CT); Protection and Relief Association (APROSOC); Civil Protection Volunteer Corps (CVPC); Protective and Relief Operations Intervention Corps (CIOPS); – International Catastrophe Paramedics (PCI); and the Association of Civil Protection Volunteers (PROAGIR) and the Civil Protection Volunteer Association (SARTEAM).