Azores Situation Report Wednesday 14th February 2024

Azorean government monitors the situation of parishes affected by bad weather in Ponta Delgada

The Regional Government of the Azores is monitoring the situation in the parishes of Ponta Delgada affected by the bad weather and defining “the beginning of several interventions”, with priority for Arrifes and Capelas

The Azorean executive has been monitoring the situation in the various parishes in the municipality of Ponta Delgada affected, this winter, by bad weather, working closely with local authorities.  The parishes of Arrifes, Feteiras, Candelária, Ginetes, Mosteiros, Sete Cidades, Pilar da Bretanha, Ajuda da Bretanha, Remédios, Santa Bárbara, Santo António and Capelas were affected by the weather.

The Government of the Azores is defining the beginning of several interventions, with priority for the parishes of Arrifes and Capelas, for the next few days.

The remaining parishes in the municipality of Ponta Delgada affected by the bad weather are in the recovery phase and are requiring small interventions to restore cleanliness and safety conditions.

Elements from the regional directorates of Public Works, Forestry Resources, Territorial Planning and Water Resources, the Agrarian Development Service of São Miguel, the Regional Institute of Planning of the Azores and the Municipal Civil Protection Service have been on the ground, “in a joint work with Ponta Delgada City Council.

Police hold new protest with vigil at Ponta Delgada airport.

Agents from the Public Security Police (PSP) and the National Republican Guard (GNR), to be joined by prison guards, will return to the protests in São Miguel, this time through a vigil to take place in the middle of the month, at the Airport John Paul II, which should be a few hundred elements.

The choice of the airport follows the option followed at national level by the platform of PSP unions and GNR associations, having been made strategically to reinforce the “media coverage” around the fight for a supplement identical to that attributed to the Judiciary Police (PJ).

The vigil could bring hundreds of unhappy people to Ponta Delgada airport, like what happened with the day of struggle that took place at the end of January, therefore admitting “constraints” in terms of traffic and parking, in addition to passenger movement being affected.


Azores Situation Report Wednesday 7th February 2024

Reduction in Ryanair flights impacted the business of tourist companies.

CCIPD survey of businesspeople reveals that 46% declare that turnover in January 2024 was lower than the same period last year.

The reduction in the number of seats for Ryanair impacted the sales volume of Oriental Group companies, with business people revealing a reduction in business of around 46% in January 2024, when compared to the same period last year.

This is one of the conclusions of the survey on tourism in the low season, carried out by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Ponta Delgada (CCIPD) between the 22nd and 29th of January, to companies on the islands of São Miguel and Santa Maria.

The CCIPD intended to “identify the current situation of companies and future perspectives according to activity indicators”, having received responses mainly from companies linked to tourism (local accommodation, hotels and restaurants) from four municipalities on the islands: Ponta Delgada, Vila do Porto, Ribeira Grande and Nordeste.

And of the responses received, 68% of companies point to the reduction in the number of seats offered by Ryanair (88 thousand fewer seats, round trip, between Ponta Delgada and Porto and Lisbon) as a factor impacting the volume of sales, which worsened in recent months.


Reserve contingent prepared for Cup game.

The PSP Regional Command and the GNR Azores Territorial Command are preparing reserve contingents for the Portuguese Cup game between Santa Clara and FC Porto, scheduled for tomorrow, February 7th, on the island of São Miguel, at 3pm.

Meetings at the regional command centres of the two security forces have intensified in recent days, due to what happened at national level over the weekend, when three meetings were postponed due to lack of policing, namely the 1st League game between Famalicão and Sporting, and the 2nd League games between Feirense and Académico de Viseu and between Leixões and Nacional.

The issue is ensuring that the Portuguese Cup quarter-final match takes place with the necessary presence of security forces at the São Miguel Stadium.


Three arrested for qualified homicide on Terceira Island

The Judiciary Police detained two women, aged 43 and 46, and a man, aged 25, due to strong evidence of the crime of qualified homicide, in the city of Praia da Vitória, Terceira Island, as part of a police operation, in which 14 searches were carried out on January 24th and 25th.

According to a statement from the Judiciary Police, the investigation, conducted by the Azores Criminal Investigation Department, “began on December 20, 2023, when the victim, aged 77, was found dead inside his residence”.

The evidence collected indicates that the two women “were co-authors of the crime, with the complicity of the first woman’s husband and that the younger woman, who maintained a loving relationship with the victim, planned, together with the 46-year-old woman, the appropriation of large sums of money. amounts of money and other goods, which the deceased kept at his residence”, says the Judicial Police.

To do this, “they went to the victim’s home, when there, they inflicted injuries on the man’s cranial region, using a blunt object”.

Present at the first judicial interrogation, the two women were placed in pre-trial detention. As for the 25-year-old man, the measure of coercion of identity and residence was applied to him.


Azores Situation Report Wednesday 31st January 2024

35 incidents recorded on four islands in the Azores. 

Bad weather in the Azores caused 35 incidents on four islands on Monday, the majority in the municipality of Ponta Delgada, in São Miguel, Civil Protection said, detailing that the situations included flooding in homes, roads and landslides.

According to a statement from the Azores Regional Civil Protection and Fire Service (SRPCBA), 25 of the incidents were in São Miguel, all in the municipality of Ponta Delgada.

The rest were in Faial (five), Graciosa (four) and Terceira (one).

“The reported situations were related to flooding in homes, flooding on roads and road obstructions”, further detailed the SRPCBA.

Firefighters, the Regional Directorate of Public Works, Forestry Services, Municipal Civil Protection Services, parish councils and the Public Security Police were on the ground.

150 tons of seaweed collected on two beaches in Ponta Delgada 

The municipality of Ponta Delgada, in the Azores, collected 150 tons of algae on the beaches of Milícias and Pópulo, with the aim of “mitigating the concentration” of the species on the municipality’s beaches.

according to the municipality on the Island of São Miguel, the operation took place between January 17th and 23rd, with the support of a tractor, a trailer and a backhoe.

“Despite not posing a danger to human health or affecting water quality, this invasive species, which is abundant between the American coast and the African coast, reproduces easily, especially in deep, rocky and water-rich underwater areas. nutrients”, explains the municipality.

We were aiming to “mitigate the concentration of this species on the municipality’s beaches, the municipality immediately proceeded to clean the affected area”, the Ponta Delgada City Council also states in a press release.

The municipality recalls that the accumulation of seaweed in the coastal area “is a natural and cyclical phenomenon, usually derived from sea currents or meteorological conditions favourable to its development and movement”.

Although this phenomenon “occurs in the Atlantic in pelagic masses, in the Azores they occur in reduced size and quantity”.

Azores reduce tourist overnight stays in December to 120.5 thousand 

The Azores recorded around 120,500 overnight stays in tourist accommodation in December 2023, 5.5% less than in the same period last year, according to estimates from the Regional Statistics Service (SREA)


Azores Situation Report Wednesday 24th January 2024

Road where landslide occurred on Terceira island closed indefinitely 

The road where a landslide occurred on Sunday on the island of Terceira will remain closed until a solution is found to ensure the stability of the slope, the regional director of Public Works has said.

“For now, the information we have been able to provide is that we will keep the road closed for safety reasons. It is still very unstable and a little unsafe”.

On Sunday, at 07:19 local time (08:19 in Lisbon), an earthquake with magnitude 4.5 on the Richter scale was recorded and its epicentre was approximately one kilometre north-northwest (NNW) of the parish of Serreta, on the island Terceira.

According to the Azores Regional Civil Protection and Fire Service (SRPCBA), “shortly after the earthquake, a landslide was recorded on the regional road in the parish of Raminho, which blocked the road”.

The section between Cabo do Raminho and Mata da Serreta was cleared on the same day, but “considering the instability of the slope” it was decided to keep it closed until an assessment was carried out by the Regional Civil Engineering Laboratory (LREC).

LREC technicians were on site on Monday, and “before the end of this week” the regional directorate of Public Works expects to receive the inspection report.

Only then should the technical options be studied, but “work of some size” would be necessary, which is why the regional director did not provide an “estimated date” for the reopening of the road.

The regional directorate of Public Works will still have to send specialist technicians to the site to better study the problem, but solutions could include placing nets on the slope or creating a support wall on the side of the road.

Pedro Azevedo visited the site today and found that stones continued to fall.

“Technically, the area is very sensitive. It is an area of ​​slopes, which has many rocky strata and there were some fissures. It still can and will be at risk of some heavy elements falling,” he explained.

The regional directorate of Public Works is creating conditions, together with the regional directorate of Forestry Resources, to reestablish a forest path, which is used as an alternative path.

Buses cannot pass this way, so the connection from the west zone to the city of Angra do Heroísmo is made through the interior of the island.

The 4.5 earthquake on the Richter scale, recorded on Sunday, was the largest event since the beginning of the ongoing seismo-volcaeic crisis on the island of Terceira since June 2022.

According to the Azores Seismo-volcaeic Information and Surveillance Centre (CIVISA), the earthquake was felt with maximum intensity VI, on the Modified Mercalli scale, in the western zone of Terceira, having been felt with lesser intensity in the rest of the island and in São Jorge.

Azores with five nominees for the World Travel Awards 

Terra Nostra Garden Hotel, Octant Furnas, Octant Ponta Delgada, SATA Air Azores and Azores Airlines are nominated for this year’s edition of the Tourism Oscars.

The 31st edition of the World Travel Awards 2024, the Tourism Oscars, named Terra Nostra Garden Hotel as the Best Boutique Hotel in Portugal.

“The art deco restaurant, with dishes inspired by Azorean products, the experience provided to guests in the botanical park and thermal water tank, as well as the atmosphere in perfect harmony with nature are just some of the characteristics that make this unit, the Bensaude Hotels Collection, a reference in global hospitality for the Tourism Oscars”, can be read in a press release.

The Octant Furnas was nominated in the Portugal’s Leading Green Hotel 2024 category, with the Octant Ponta Delgada being positioned in the Portugal’s Leading Lifestyle Hotel 2024 category.

SATA Group airlines – SATA Air Azores and Azores Airlines – were also nominated for the World Travel Awards 2024 in three important categories worldwide. SATA Air Azores is nominated in the category of Europe’s Leading Regional Airline 2024, while Azores Airlines is among those nominated in the categories of Europe’s Leading Airline to North America 2024. from Europe to North America 2024) and from Europe’s Leading Airline Brand 2024.

“These appointments represent recognition of the work that SATA Group airlines have been developing and reinforce their growth prospects both in terms of routes, demand, connectivity and services offered to passengers, as well as in terms of their own Brand”, declared the Azorean air carrier.

Voting is available online until February 4th and the winners will be revealed during the awards ceremony that will take place in Berlin, Germany, on March 4th.

The World Travel Awards were created in 1993 to recognise, reward and celebrate excellence across all key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, and are currently recognized as the sector’s mark of excellence.