Portugal Safety and Security Report Thursday 7th December 2023

Good morning everyone. The 3rd December marked the International Day of persons with disabilities.  More than 1.3 billion people experience significant disability today, which represents 16% of the global population. Many persons with disabilities die earlier, are at increased risk of developing a range of health conditions, and experience more limitations in everyday functioning than the rest of the population. Persons with disabilities are often disproportionally affected by disasters and have different and uneven levels of resilience and capacity to recover.

Many are socially or logistically isolated and lack access to evacuation warnings and appropriate transportation for themselves, for those who care for them and any medical equipment necessary for their well-being. When we consider and take action concerning disaster preparedness, be it rural fires or flooding we can do our part by ensuring that family members those we know with disabilities are also prepared. We can do much to help them.

Turning to the subject of using phones whilst which despite being a dangerous practice is the cause of many serious and fatal road accidents. In Portugal, despite the results obtained in the last two decades, on average, 650 people lose their lives on the road each year. A number far from the only acceptable number: ZERO.

The temptation to respond to calls and notifications from your cell phone is the cause of many accidents, whilst driving. Texting whilst driving is the most dangerous distraction. Campaigns being conducted by the ANSR, GNR and PSP emphasise that: Using a cell phone while driving increases the likelihood of having a car accident by four times; at 50 km/h, looking at your cell phone for 3 seconds is the same as driving a distance of 42 meters blindfolded, the equivalent of a line of 10 cars and, using a cell phone while driving increases reaction time to unforeseen situations greater than the effect of a blood alcohol level of 0.8 g/l. It begs the question therefore why would anyone use their phone whilst driving given these facts?

To reduce the risk while driving and avoid this dangerous distraction, opt for one of the following strategies: Turn off your cell phone, or activate silent mode; place the cell phone in the glove compartment or in a place that does not allow access; turn on voice messages so people can leave messages while you travel; stop at an authorized and safe location to check or return urgent calls; avoid, whenever possible, using hands-free mode and take the initiative to say that you will call back later, whenever you realize that the person you are calling is driving. Fines range from €250 to €1250, driving ban from 1 to 12 months and 3 points deduction on licence.

With the winter season upon us there is a bigger demand on heating appliances and other equipment used for keeping us warm at this time of year. It is also a time when there is an increase in household fires. Many electrical fires can be prevented by following some simple electricity safety tips. These include checking electrical wires for wear and tear – replace any that are damaged; avoid overloading plug/power sockets; checking that you’re using the correct wattage in all your fixtures and appliances and switching off and unplug Christmas them before you go to bed or going out.

Whether you own or rent your home, it’s important to know the signs of a potential electrical problem. Look out for scorch marks, flickering lights, hot plugs and sockets, fuses that blow or circuit-breakers that trip for no obvious reason. These could all be signs of loose or dangerous wiring. If in doubt get them checked by a qualified electrician; you are within your rights to ask this of your landlord if you are a tenant.

We congratulate the organisers and volunteers who support The Food Bank’s campaign against Hunger who collected almost 2,300 tonnes of food from last Friday to Sunday, 10% more than in the same period last year. The president of FPBACF Isabel Jonet, recalled that there are more and more people experiencing serious financial difficulties: “When people ask for help with eating, it is when all other requests for help have been exhausted. It’s not easy to ask for help with eating.” There are around two million people who live on less than 591 euros per month remembering that half of these people live on less than 224 euros. A most worthy cause.

Our team wishes you a safe week ahead


Lisbon – Earthquake Emergency Response Planning

Lisbon, 05 Dec 2023 (Lusa) – The organized response of emergency services to an earthquake can take up to around 72 hours, which is why the Municipal Civil Protection Service (SMPC) of Lisbon is working with parish councils to plan relief.

According to Margarida Castro Martins, director of the SMPC in Lisbon, the experience of other earthquakes suggests that it is estimated that the organized response of the emergency services “may take up to around 72 hours”, that is, three days, and that in this period 95 % of the help is provided by the population, family, neighbours and friends.

The person responsible, who was speaking at an initiative promoted by the association Lisboa E-Nova – Lisbon Energy-Environment Agency, on “Local Emergency Planning”, explained that the city council is thus preparing with the parish councils the prevention and response to the occurrence of an earthquake and ‘tsunami’.

This takes into account that no one knows the territory and the populations better than the parish councils, their workers and their residents.

The SMPC leader highlighted that the seismic risk in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area (AML) is considered “high to very high” and that the basis of the capital’s municipality’s response is the Civil Protection Special Emergency Plan for Seismic Risk in AML and neighbouring municipalities.

The Lisbon municipality, with 24 parishes and 545,796 inhabitants, has Lumiar as the most populous parish, with 46,334 residents, and Misericórdia as the least populous, with 9,658 residents, who naturally have “different realities”, and only Local Units of Civil Protection (ULPC) in the parishes of Alcântara (2016), Misericórdia (2020) and Penha de França (2021).

The municipality is preparing local emergency plans in the parishes of Avenidas Novas, Beato, Belém, Campo de Ourique, and updating those of Arroios and Olivais.

In addition to seismic risk plans, the municipality is also promoting an evacuation plan for the riverside area in the event of a ‘tsunami’, with a warning and alert system, following an earthquake.

The municipality already has two sirens installed, in Praça do Império, in the parish of Belém, and in Ribeira das Naus, in the parish of Santa Maria Maior, and has two more planned for 2024, in Doca de Santos, (Alcântara) and Estação de Santos (Estrela), foreseeing at least six more sirens in riverside parishes, by 2026.

The national director of risk prevention and management at the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority (ANEPC), Carlos Mendes, presented the work carried out on the seismic risk assessment in AML, which is also used for the plan for the Algarve region.

The official also highlighted that in these types of events “the first response is mainly a proximity response”, which “often is not even carried out by organized relief structures” and that, in the first hours, “citizen mutual aid mechanisms” operate mainly. .

The emergency plan for AML and neighbouring municipalities involves more than a hundred entities “for a coordinated response” to an earthquake situation, and in the case of an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1 on the Richter scale, means of support from districts of outside the area, and the definition of runways for international assistance, namely the air bases of Monte Real and Beja, or Sintra and Montijo.

International support mechanisms can come from France, Spain and Morocco, but Carlos Mendes noted that, in the case of an earthquake like the one in 1755, Spain and Morocco could also be affected, and therefore help will have to be provided within the framework of other European countries.

The Lisboa E-Nova session, according to Eduardo Silva, from the organization, despite some technical problems, aimed to raise awareness of the seismic risk in the city of Lisbon and in AML, with the aim of guaranteeing a culture of prevention, urgent to anticipate not only “the capacity to respond, but also the way in which the response is given”, in a situation of possible catastrophe.


Portugal Situation and Security Report Wednesday 29th November 2023

Good morning – Firstly I would like to cover the 17th edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI), which ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness. Produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), the GPI is the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness.

Europe remains the most peaceful region in the world and is home to seven of the ten most peaceful countries. Portugal was in 7th place globally, (5th in Europe) up one place since last year, compared to neighbours Spain in 32nd place and France 67th place. The UK was in 37th place.

Portugal was 16th place in the Safety and Security domain, up one place from last year, but 7 places lower than 2020. Globally this domain has deteriorated 5.4 per cent between 2008 and 2023. Of the 11 indicators in this domain, nine deteriorated and two improved. The largest deterioration occurred in the violent demonstrations indicator, with 120 countries seeing the impact. This domain evaluates the level of harmony or discord within a nation; eleven indicators broadly assess what might be described as Societal Safety and Security. The assertion is that low crime rates, minimal terrorist activity and violent demonstrations, harmonious relations with neighbouring countries, a stable political scene and a small proportion of the population being internally displaced or made refugees can be equated with peacefulness.

What caught my eye, however, in studying this report was that 2022 was the deadliest year for armed conflict since the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the deadliest year in the history of the GPI. This was driven by more than 100,000 deaths in the war in Tigray in northern Ethiopia. The battles between the Ethiopian Defence Force, ally Eritrea and rebel group TPLF is the single deadliest event since 1994. Ukraine also saw at least 82,000 conflict deaths in 2022. Conflict-related deaths in Mali increased 154 per cent in 2022, with violence against civilians rising by 570 per cent, while in Myanmar, conflict-related deaths increased by 87 per cent. In contrast, the level of violence in other conflict affected areas fell sharply over the past year. Conflict-related deaths fell by 91 per cent in Afghanistan, and by 63 per cent in Yemen.

Unfortunately both violence and peacefulness can be contagious. Actions in one region or country can spill over into bordering regions and countries, leading to virtuous or vicious cycles where peace and conflict move in tandem. We await the GPI report for 2024 to see how far current major conflicts currently ongoing have impacted on neighbouring countries, especially the war between Hamas and Israel.

As most people are aware there are many fraudulent schemes and scams that operate through social media. Most are there to get you to part with your money, usually through offering items at unbelievably low prices or through illegitimate or illegal means.   An example of the latter was surfaced yesterday by the Institute of Mobility and Transport (IMT) who gave a public alert related to a fraud scheme in obtaining a driving license.

According to the organization, there is a scheme being shared on social media and via SMS that promises to obtain a legal license to drive in exchange for a sum of money. IMT stated on its official website: “The IMT does not communicate payment for any of its services through these means, and therefore should not proceed, at any time, with the requested payment”. If you receive one of these SMS, and do not drive, DO NOT be tempted to try and obtain a licence through illegal means. There is no short cut to obtaining a driving licence which requires the passing of a test and obtaining a licence through the IMT

We remind people that accidents resulting from the use of a mobile phone whilst driving are one of the largest causes of road deaths. Between November 28 and December 4, ANSR, PSP and GNR are launching the campaign: “At the wheel, the mobile phone can wait”. The campaign integrates moments of monitoring and awareness among drivers and passengers. Unfortunately it would appear from the fact that many drivers ignore this, they do not understand the consequences of their actions, and the impact this may have on other road users who do follow the law.

Lastly we thank all of you who visited our stand at the Christmas Fair organised by Amigos de Museu do Traje in São Brás de Alportel, held on Sunday 26th November. By far the largest number of enquiries concerned the Emergency ID Card which was initiated by Safe Communities Portugal and developed by us in conjunction with the INEM, PSP and GNR. This can be completed and downloaded from our website, and carrying this with you means that if you have an accident, the emergency services have vital information that facilitates life support at the scene. More details and download here;

With this message our newsletter team, Susan, Mike, Chris and I wish you a safe week ahead.


Judicial Police seize more than 4 Tonnes of Cocaine from a warehouse in Lisbon

Lisbon, 28 Nov 2023 (Lusa)- The Judiciary Police (PJ) announced today the seizure of more than four tons of cocaine hidden in boxes of bananas in a warehouse in Lisbon, as part of an operation to combat international drug trafficking.

In a statement, the PJ said the process of detecting and removing the 4.4 tons of drugs was difficult, as they were disguised in several boxes of bananas, which in turn were housed on pallets inside maritime containers.

The cocaine came from Ecuador, reached national territory by sea, and had its final destination in other European countries, which are not specified.

During this operation, no arrests were made in Portugal, however the PJ considers that relevant evidence was collected, and the information was shared with authorities in other countries.

“Operation Anchor”, launched in recent months, had the support of the Tax and Customs Authority and is part of the effort to combat illicit cocaine trafficking, developed by the Judiciary Police in conjunction with foreign authorities.

Montalegre Municipality captured 14,654 Asia Hornets in the 2023 Campaign.

Montalegre, Vila Real, 28 Nov 2023 (Lusa) – The municipality of Montalegre captured 14,654 Asian wasps in the trap network and eliminated 56 nests in the 2023 campaign, which took place within the scope of the municipal plan to combat this invasive species, it was announced today.

The municipality in the North of the Vila Real district took stock of the 2023 campaign to combat the velutina wasp, also known as the Asian wasp, and reported that, this year, 14,654 wasps were captured, dispersed throughout the municipality’s territory.

The Asian wasp is a predator of bees and other native pollinating insects, and is a threat that has expanded in the country.

According to the Montalegre council, the vast majority of captures made in the municipality were foundress wasps, that is, wasps capable of creating their own nest (future queens).

The plan is being implemented by the Forestry Technical Office and is led by technician José Luís Tavares.

“The trap network presents excellent results, capturing a significant number of velutina wasps, however, it is important to bear in mind that these wasps are never all captured and that the participation of all citizens in identifying and signalling nests is increasingly necessary, . (Primary and secondary)”, said the person in charge, quoted in a statement.

As he explained, this year began with “a mild winter, in which the less extreme cold was favourable to the survival of many hibernating wasps, which in more adverse circumstances could perish”.

“In addition, the high temperatures in spring and summer were favourable for the wasps to disperse,” he added.

In 2023, the network of traps to combat the velutina wasp 2023 included 250 units spread across the municipality. The campaign took place between May and August, that is, it lasted four months, with eight fortnightly monitoring sessions.

According to the municipality, the parishes of Cabril, Salto and Ferral account for around half of all catches made, which “evidences that the lowest and bordering areas of the municipalities of Vieira do Minho, Terras de Bouro and Cabeceiras de Basto are the most affected by this plague.”

So far, he said, five primary nests (diameters between five cms and 10 cms) and 51 secondary nests (diameters between 30 cms and 80 cms) have been identified and duly eliminated.


Portugal Safety and Security Report Wednesday 22nd November 2023

Good morning everyone, Safe Communities has had a very busy week attending the A Terra Treme national Earthquake Awareness Exercise in Olhão; the presentation of the results of Algarve Operation Rural Fire Plan 2023 in Faro, and as well as holding the Safe Christmas and New Year’s Festive Period Seminar, together with Amigos do Museu do Traje São Brás de Alportel

We were very pleased with the outcome of the seminar at São Brás de Alportel, which was timely with the focus on crime prevention and road safety. This coincided with the “World Day in Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims”, being marked on 19th November, in which the President of the Republic Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa strongly appealed for operational and awareness work to be reinforced against a problem that caused 238 deaths in the first half of this year.

Marking “World Day in Remembrance of Road Traffic Victims”, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, recognized “the relevant role of awareness-raising and inspection campaigns planned within the scope of the National Inspection Plan”, but called “strongly for operational work and collective awareness to be reinforced, because all lives count”, according to a note published on the presidency’s website.

These remarks by the President of the Republic clearly illustrate the importance of road safety and that everyone, both pedestrians and road users, have a role to play, in reducing the number of deaths and injuries each year”. “Remember this festive period the Best Gift is Being Present. And that depends on the commitment of all of us”.

Safe Communities Portugal was honoured to participate as a guest at the national Earthquake Awareness Exercise “A Terra Treme”, which took place during the morning of 14th November, at the Dr. Francisco Fernandes Lopes Secondary School – Olhão. We have been promoting this initiative for over 10 years. The exercise involves the execution of the 3 self-protection measures, carried out in various safe contexts, which can save lives, in order to alert and raise awareness of the population on how to act before, during and after the occurrence of an earthquake.

Those attending included the Minister of Internal Administration José Luís Carneiro, Secretary of State for Civil Protection Patricia Gaspar and Entities from the Ministry of Education, the President of the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority, General Duarte da Costa, and senior dignitaries from the most diverse entities that make up the national civil protection system. This includes Safe Communities Portugal which is an official Civil Protection Volunteer Organisation.  Apart from the exercise itself which included an “evacuation” of several hundred students there were various displays by the civil protection agents including the GNR, Bombeiros etc.

The third event was the presentation of the results of Algarve Operation Rural Fire Plan 2023 (DECIR Algarve23) held on 15th November in Faro. Rather than repeat all the details of the information presented, I would ask you to read Mike Evans report included in this week’s Algarve Report. Despite being a year with extreme weather conditions in terms of high temperatures, when comparing the rural fires for the year 2023 with the history of the previous 10 years, there were 16% fewer rural fires and 44% less burned area compared to the annual average for the period under analysis – So better news.

With the arrival of the Polar air mass yesterday we are already experiencing some cooler weather and we can expect overnight air temperatures down to close to 0C to 2C particular in valleys in the centre and north of the mainland again tonight. During the cold weather there are certain precautions to take when it comes to protecting from low temperatures. Many domestic accidents are due to the effect of carbon monoxide, toxic gas, odourless and colourless. Most fatal domestic fires are at night time. We repeat the safety messages regularly so would ask everyone to follow these.

Lastly we will have a stand at the Museu do Traje São Brás de Alportel, Christmas Fair on Sunday 26th November from 10.00 to 15.00 hrs, in which you can obtain information on our work. We are pleased to answer questions on crime prevention, civil protection and road safety issues. We look forward to seeing you. A great fair, with home grown produce, bread, cakes, books, craft, spices, music and street food etc.

Our team wishes you a good week ahead.


Kamov helicopters offered to Ukraine more than a year ago remain “on national soil”

Lisbon, 21 Nov 2023 (Lusa) – The six Kamov firefighting helicopters offered by Portugal to Ukraine more than a year ago still remain in the country, awaiting Portuguese authorities for instructions from Kiev, the Ministry of Defence told Lusa today.

“The Kamov helicopters transferred to Ukraine at the request of the Kiev authorities are on national soil, awaiting indications from the Ukrainian counterpart on the next steps to be taken”, indicates the Ministry of National Defence, in a response sent to the Lusa agency.

The Ministry supervised by Helena Carreiras also adds that “regular contacts are maintained between the Ministry of National Defence and its Ukrainian interlocutors, with a technical visit by the logistical arm of the donor group to the place where the aircraft are parked last quarter. ”.

The six Kamov heavy firefighting helicopters without a license to operate in Portugal because they are of Russian origin are inoperable and are parked at Ponte de Sor airfield, Portalegre district.

The announcement of the sending of the Kamovs to Ukraine was made by Helena Carreiras in October 2022, a decision criticized, at the time, by Moscow, which considered it to be a “breach of its contractual obligations”.

Russian diplomacy considered that the Portuguese Government’s decision to send six Kamov firefighting helicopters to Ukraine, helping in the fight against the Russian invasion, is a “breach of contractual obligations” on the part of Lisbon, referring to the fact that are aircraft of Russian origin.

In June of this year, the Minister of Defence stated that preparations for sending the Kamovs were being planned.

Of the State’s six heavy helicopters, one has been in an accident since 2012, two others have been undergoing repairs since 2015 and the remaining three Kamov have been out of service since the beginning of 2018.

The Kamovs were acquired in 2006 by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, then led by the current Prime Minister, António Costa.

PJ dismantles criminal structure that exploited immigrants in Baixo Alentejo and arrests 28 people

Évora, 21 Nov 2023 (Lusa) – The Judiciary Police (PJ) today dismantled an organized criminal structure that was dedicated to exploiting immigrant workers in Baixo Alentejo, in an operation in which 28 people were arrested.

In a statement published on its website, the PJ indicated that the operation was launched by the National Counter Terrorism Unit of this police, within the scope of two investigations carried out by the Department of Investigation and Penal Action (DIAP) of Évora.

This police operation, he highlighted, took place in several cities and parishes in Baixo Alentejo and involved around 480 PJ operatives, who carried out 78 home and non-domestic search warrants.

According to the PJ, so far, 28 people have been arrested, outside of the act of committing a crime, who are suspected of being part of “a criminal structure dedicated to exploiting the labor of immigrant citizens” in Baixo Alentejo.

The majority of immigrant citizens were “enticed in their countries of origin, such as Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, India, Senegal, Pakistan, among others, to come and work on agricultural farms in that region of our country”, he noted.

According to the PJ, the suspects, of Portuguese and foreign nationality, are indicted for committing crimes of criminal association, human trafficking, aiding illegal immigration, obtaining illegal labor, extortion, money laundering, fraud tax, offenses against physical integrity, possession of a firearm and forgery of documents.

The Judiciary Police highlighted that, during the so-called “Operation Mirror”, several pieces of evidence were seized and dozens of victims were identified.

This operation had the collaboration of Social Security in referring victims in need of immediate social support and logistical support from the Portuguese Air Force.

The detainees will be present for the first judicial interrogation, on Wednesday, to apply possible coercive measures.


The Portugal Safety and Security Report Wednesday 8th November 2023

Good day to you all. There have been two big stories this week which have hit the headlines. The first is the sudden resignation of the Prime Minister over a scandal which is still fully to come out into the open. There is every likelihood that there will be another General Election as a result of his resignation, and we will all hear more about this next week.

The other big story is the publication of a report into the situation in Portugal of Rural Fires in 2023.  The year 2023 was the first year ever without fatalities due to rural fires. Zero fatalities, whether civilians, people who were caught by the fire during burning, cut and piled waste or more extensive burning and operatives” said the president of Agency for the Integrated Management of Rural Fires (AGIF).

Between January 1st and October 15th this year, 7,635 rural fires were recorded, the second lowest figure in the last 10 years. A reduction that is particularly visible in the summer months, with fewer fires on the hottest periods.

According to data released Monday (6 November) by the AGIF, this year there were 58% fewer fires compared to the average in the period 2010-2019, less 26% compared to 2022. For more information on these statistics see our more detailed post further in this report.

Now let’s have a look at some of the other stories that have hit the headlines in the past week across the country.


One in three drivers that die in road accidents has a blood alcohol level equal to or greater than 0.5 g/l and three in four of these drivers have a blood alcohol level equal to or greater than 1.2 g/l.

Don’t be part of this statistic.

 See this flyer http://www.ansr.pt/…/Campanha…/Flyer%20Taxa%20Zero.pdf  where among other info you can find the Fines for Driving with a Blood Alcohol Level above 0,2 g/l (professional drivers and recent driving licences) or 0,5 g/l (non-professional drivers)


UPDATE – The Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere informs that on 05-11-2023 at 21:18 (local time) an earthquake of magnitude 3.4 (Richter) was recorded at the stations of the Continent Seismic Network, whose epicentre was located approximately 8 km east-northeast of Monchique.

This earthquake, according to the information available to date, did not cause any personal or material damage and was felt with maximum intensity IV (modified Mercalli scale) in the municipalities of Albufeira and Lagoa (Faro).

It was also felt with less intensity in the municipalities of Beja (Beja), Monchique, Portimão and Silves (Faro).

According to Spain’s Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN), the quake hit on Sunday, November 5th, 2023, at 9:18 pm local time at a very shallow depth of 5 km. Shallow earthquakes are felt more strongly than deeper ones as they are closer to the surface. The exact magnitude, epicentre, and depth of the quake might be revised within the next few hours or minutes as seismologists review data and refine their calculations, or as other agencies issue their report.

A second report was later issued by the citizen-seismograph network of RaspberryShake, which listed it as a magnitude 3.4 earthquake.


The Judiciary Police (PJ), through the National Unit to Combat Drug Trafficking, arrested three Portuguese who are strongly suspected of committing the crime of drug trafficking.

The arrests occurred red handed, as part of an ongoing investigation into a criminal group that, through the regular airline flights, was introducing large quantities of narcotic products into national territory.

The detainees, employees of companies based at Humberto Delgado Airport, in Lisbon, removed the drugs directly from the plane’s hold, shortly after their arrival, diverting it from the baggage inspection. The drug had just arrived in Lisbon, on a flight from Latin America.

A large quantity of cocaine was seized which, if it reached the distribution circuits, would be sufficient for 440,000 (four hundred and forty thousand) individual doses;

In addition to the drugs, a large amount of money in notes, four luxury vehicles, cell phones and various documentation relevant to proving the facts under investigation were also seized. The investigation continues.

The detainees, aged 42, 47 and 50, were present for the first judicial interrogation, and the coercive measure of preventive detention was applied to all of them.

In this operation, the Judiciary Police had relevant support from the PSP – Airport Security Division of Humberto Delgado Airport.


The amount of water stored increased in October 2023 in nine river basins and decreased in three compared to the last day of the previous month, according to data from the National Water Resources Information System (SNIRH).

October 2023 storages by river basin were generally higher than the October storage averages (1990/91 to 2022/23), except for the Sado, Mira, Guadiana, Ribeiras do Algarve and Arade basins.

The Barlavento basin continues to be the one with the smallest amount of water, just 7.6%, when the average is 53.4%.

Of the 60 monitored reservoirs, 18 had water availability greater than 80% of the total volume and 17 less than 40%.

According to SNIRH data available today, at the end of October the Barlavento (7.6%), Arade (25.5%), Mira (31%) and Sado (36.7%) basins were at a lower level.

The Ave basin had the largest percentage of stored water, with 99.6% of its capacity, followed by the Douro (84%), Cávado (83.3%), Lima (75.5%), Tagus (73 .4%), Guadiana (67.7%), Oeste (66.9%) and Mondego (66.7%).

October 2023 storages by river basin were generally higher than the October storage averages (1990/91 to 2022/23), except for the Sado, Guadiana, Mira, Ribeiras do Algarve and Arade basins.

Most of the river basins have several reservoirs.


The National Authority for Emergency and Civil Protection (ANEPC) promotes the national seismic risk awareness exercise, called “A TERRA TREME”.

Safe Communities Portugal has supported this each year in a number of ways.

This initiative is part of the activities that form part of the National Strategy for Preventive Civil Protection and aims to empower the population to know how to act before, during and after an earthquake, sensitising citizens to the fact of living in a risk society, and challenging themselves o to get involved in the process of building safer and more resilient communities.

The exercise comprises the practice of 3 simple gestures that can make a difference to those who practise them in the face of an earthquake.

The action takes place during one (1) minute, in which the participants, individually or collectively, are invited to perform the 3 self-protection gestures: DROP, COVER, HOLD.


Everyone can and should participate: individually or in groups, wherever they are.


People/organisations/schools/etc are invited to register in the dedicated area of the website. At the date and hour do the exercise and share it on social media afterwards


1 – REGISTRATION – Register on the site, expressing your interest in this campaign. Refer to the number of expected participants and contacts for possible sending of more information.

2 – PLAN – Define the dimension you want to give to the exercise, which can go from the simplest level with the practice of the 3 gestures, to the elaboration of a more complete exercise that even tests an Emergency Plan, involving different entities.

3 – DISCOVER – Involve everyone in your family and organisation and share information about A TERRA TREME through your contact list, encouraging them to participate.

4 – CONSULT – Share the dissemination materials available on the site, reinforcing individual and collective preparation for an earthquake situation.

5 – EXERCISE – On the date and hour do the exercise and share it on social media afterwards

You can get some info on our website, download this leaflet https://www.safecommunitiesportugal.com/…/Earthquakes…

The “A Terra Treme” site https://www.aterratreme.pt/


The year 2023 was the first year ever without fatalities due to rural fires. Zero fatalities, whether civilians, people who were caught by the fire during burning, cut and piled waste or more extensive burning and operatives” said the president of Agency for the Integrated Management of Rural Fires (AGIF) at a press conference.

Between January 1st and October 15th this year, 7,635 rural fires were recorded, the second lowest figure in the last 10 years. A reduction that is particularly visible in the summer months, with fewer fires on the hottest periods.

According to data released Monday (6 November) by the AGIF, this year there were 58% fewer fires compared to the average in the period 2010-2019, less 26% compared to 2022.

This decrease extends to larger fires, whose numbers have been decreasing. Until now, there was an average of 19 fires with a burned area of more than 1000 hectares. In recent years this average has dropped to seven.

The burned area fell by 75% compared to the 2010-2019 average and 69% compared to last year.

According to data presented by AGIF, with regard to the causes of fires there is a “reduction of more than 50% in the number of fires that result from several types of burning and in the number of fires that result from arsonists/vandalism”.

The number of “fires resulting from accidents remains the same”.

Throughout this year, and for the first time, the investment made in prevention (61%) is higher than that in fighting fires (39%).

But this, as mentioned by Duarte da Costa, president of the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority (ANEPC), does not correspond to a disinvestment in fighting fires (in 2023 there was a reinforcement of the device, namely aerial means) but to an “awareness of the greater need to invest in prevention”.

A work that has been done by the State, but also by citizens, namely through the cleaning of land, as highlighted by Nuno Banza, president of the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests (ICNF) “The country as a whole is doing work of true prevention”.


Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced his resignation on Tuesday after he was embroiled in a corruption investigation into the awarding of energy-related contracts. Covering alleged “misuse of funds, active and passive corruption by political figures, and influence peddling,” according to a statement from public prosecutors.

Costa, being the prime minister in exercise, will be investigated independently for allegedly intervening personally to speed up the awarding of licences for lithium exploration and hydrogen production.

“The duties of prime minister are not compatible with any suspicion of my integrity,” Costa told a press conference.

“In these circumstances, I have presented my resignation to the president of the Republic,” he added. Portugal’s head of state Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa accepted Costa’s resignation and called for a meeting of parliamentary parties on Wednesday, according to a statement from the Portuguese presidency.

The president must also convene the Council of State, which includes the country’s most senior politicians, former presidents and other notable figures which will happen on Thursday.

“The President of the Republic will address the nation immediately after the meeting of the Council of State,” the statement added.

Earlier Tuesday, Portuguese media reported that investigators had searched several ministries as well as Costa’s chief of staff office at the official residence.

Public prosecutors later said they had indicted Infrastructure Minister Joao Galamba and issued an arrest warrant for Costa’s chief of staff. The investigation covers lithium mining concessions as well as a hydrogen production project and data centre to be built by the company Start Campus in Sines, a town about 100 kilometres (62 miles) south of Lisbon.

Citing flight risk and the possibility that illegal activity could continue, arrest warrants were also issued for the mayor of Sines and two executives at Start Campus.

The president of the executive board of the Portuguese Agency for the Protection of the Environment (APA) was also indicted. APA in May approved a lithium mining project, an essential metal for the manufacturing of electric batteries.

Portugal has the largest lithium reserves in Europe and is the continent’s leading producer, but its current output goes entirely to the ceramic and glass-making industries.

Costa, from Portugal’s Socialist Party, has been prime minister since late 2015 and was re-elected in January 2022.