Portugal Situation Report Wednesday 30th November 2022
Good morning – firstly I am pleased to report that over 60 people have registered for our community Lunch which we will be holding in Loule today. This also marls 10 years since we registered as Safe Communities Portugal, changing our name to Safe Communities Portugal in 2014, as a result of expansion in other parts of the mainland. We are pleased that Clive Jewell British Vice Consul responsible for the Algarve will be attending as our guest speaker, who has given great support to work that we do. We are looking forward to a very enjoyable event.
For those who listen to KissFM I outlined last Sunday on the Solid Gold Sunday Crime check feature, the various types of fraud and on-lone scams that we should expect to see in the lead up to Christmas.
Unfortunately not everything on Facebook and other social media is true! There is a temptation (sometimes a compulsion) to respond immediately to posts, or click on dubious links, and this applies to UNSOLICITED offers of goods and services. Remember if it appears too good to be true then it usually is! Take time to check out the offer.
If possible use online retailers/brands you are aware of and trust. For major brands always go to their official website to find a list of authorised sellers. Ensure you have adequate anti-virus software that will enable your computer to flag any untrustworthy sites.
Another is fake parcel delivery scams – In the lead up to Christmas we are already seeing an increase in Portugal of on-line parcel delivery scams in emails using the names of well-known couriers, such as CTT – DHL etc. If you are expecting a delivery be particularly careful. Check senders address email address first, some are obviously incorrect others more difficult to spot- Do not click on any links in emails, open attachments or reply. Simply delete the email.
Fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated in the way they operate and have now started using QR codes linked to fake websites they have created. Be aware, therefore of any QR code embedded in an unsolicited email as this can be a scam. If you don’t know the sender, don’t scan the QR code. If in doubt check with the company concerned but not using the contact details in the email. For those who are UK take payers please be aware that there are fake emails circulating using the name of HMRC demanding payment of overdue taxes using QR codes linked to fake websites.
For those living in north and centre we are now seeing overnight temperatures dropping to zero or even below in some places. 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 and most fatal domestic fires are at night time. Reminders from the ANEPC are:
Don’t try and keep warm using appliances intended for other uses: such as grills etc; Keep the room ventilated; Do not store gas bottles in basements or near heat sources; Before you go to bed or leave the house, check if you have turned off the heating equipment; Avoid sleeping next to heating equipment. Install a carbon monoxide alarm. If someone has symptoms of poisoning, contact the INEM Anti-poison Information Centre: 800 250 250 and in serious cases contact 112.
Also with cold temperature there will likely be more frost and icy patches on roads. It is a good time therefore to ensure that your tyres and windscreen wipers are in good order and that windscreen washers are topped up. Check the spray nozzles of your windshield-washer system.
Darker mornings, evenings and lower temperatures around this time of year make conditions more difficult. Road surface temperatures are usually a few degrees lower, so drivers should not rely on in-car temperature sensors as an indicator of possible frost or ice.
A winter accident could leave you stuck on the side of the road. If you regularly drive in very cold areas packing your car with a few essentials will help keep you safe and ready for whatever conditions pop up on your trip. A useful tip we have come across is to keep the fuel tank at least half full throughout the winter. This will reduce condensation, making your vehicle easier to start on cold mornings.
Lastly we have yet to see the first IPMA low temperature warning for this winter or ANEPC advice to the public, but when they do appear, please follow the warnings and advice given – which are there for your safety.
With that have a safe week ahead.
Two engineers go on trial for landslides in Guimarães in 2013
Guimarães, Braga, 29 Nov 2022 (Lusa) – The Court of Appeal of Guimarães (TRG) has decided to bring to trial two engineers in the landslide process registered in 2013 in Mesão Frio, Guimarães, which cut the bypass that connects this municipality to Fafe.
In a note published today on its website, the Porto Regional Attorney General’s Office (PGRP) explains that the decision follows an appeal filed by the Public Ministry (MP) to that higher court, after the Criminal Instruction Court (TIC) of Guimarães, in February of this year, not pronounce (not bring to trial) any of the four defendants previously accused, and who had requested the opening of instruction.
According to the PGRP, by judgment issued on November 21, the TRG “upheld partially” the MP’s appeal and pronounced (decided to bring to trial) a technical engineer and a civil engineer “for the crime of infraction of construction rules, damage to facilities and disruption of services”.
On June 21, 2019, the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Braga (Guimarães, 2nd section) brought charges against the company responsible for the construction of 10 luxury villas, two managing partners and two engineers – now pronounced – imputing them “the commission of a crime of infraction of construction regulations, damage to installations and disruption of services, and a crime of attacking the safety of road transport”.
The defendants requested the opening of an investigation, an optional phase that aims to decide by a criminal investigation judge whether the process continues and in what ways for trial, having, on February 22 of this year, the TIC of Guimarães issued an order of non-pronouncement, decision now reversed by the TRG, but only for the two engineers.
The MP’s accusation maintains that, in the context of the construction of a real estate project consisting of 10 houses, the defendant contractors built, from March 15, 2007 to February 22, 2008, a landfill, in Mesão Frio, Guimarães municipality, “together with the defendant engineers, who had not observed the good construction rules contained in the regulatory standards applicable to this type of construction, namely those relating to drainage and soil composition”.
“As a direct and necessary consequence of such construction flaws”, on April 2, 2013 “the soils of the work, as well as the slope, slipped in a length of 60 meters and height of 50 meters”, stresses the MP.
Pharmacist recalls batches of eye drops sold in Portugal
Lisbon, 29 Nov 2022 (Lusa) – German pharmaceutical company Bitop AG is recalling eight batches of Ectodol eye drops, marketed in Portugal, after a reduction in the main component was detected, the national drug regulator (Infarmed) announced today. .
The batches in question are A841E, A841F, A841G, B841D, B841E, B841F, B841G and B841H, lists the National Authority for Medicines and Health Products (Infarmed) in an informative circular dated Monday and released today on its website.
Infarmed recommends, according to the measures provided by the manufacturer, the “immediate interruption of the ophthalmic solution and its return to the acquisition establishment” although, according to the evaluation carried out by the pharmaceutical company, “the effectiveness and performance” of the drops are not affected, not constituting a health risk.
The collection of targeted batches began “after a decrease in the predicted concentration of ectoine, the main component of the solution, and the presence of degradation products of this substance were identified”.
To date, according to Infarmed, “no cases of incidents associated with the use of these lots have been reported”.
However, Infarmed advises, “in case of any unwanted side effect, such as eye irritation or conjunctivitis, contact a health professional”.
Ectodol Eye Drops work by “reducing inflammation of the conjunctiva and regenerating irritated and sensitive conjunctiva”.
EDP Renováveis installs the most powerful onshore wind turbines in the Iberian Peninsula in the Algarve
Barão São João wind farm, in the Algarve, with two new wind towers, equipped with 6.2 megawatt Vestas wind turbines, the most powerful machines in land parks in the Iberian Peninsula
EDP Renováveis and the Danish company Vestas completed the installation of the most powerful turbines for onshore wind farms. The two new wind turbines, with a unitary power of 6.2 megawatts (MW), were installed at the Barão São João wind farm, in Lagos, in the Algarve, EDP said in a statement this Monday.
The power of this equipment does not, however, exceed that which is operational in the Windfloat Atlantic offshore wind farm, off Viana do Castelo, with three machines of 8 MW each, although it is normal for offshore parks to be equipped with turbines more powerful than land installations.
The park has two new towers, equipped with Vestas EnVentus V162 wind turbines, machines to which 80-meter-long blades will be attached.
With this project, Vestas exceeds 900 MW of installed capacity or capacity under construction in Portugal, although the total volume of wind capacity on which Vestas is providing services in the country (including parks with equipment from other manufacturers) exceeds 1 gigawatt (GW), according to the EDP statement.