Cleaning work on the Sete Cidades lagoon, on the island of São Miguel, should be completed in no more than three weeks, the regional secretary for the Environment and Climate Change of the Azores announced today.
Alonso Miguel, who visited the work taking place on the shores of the lagoon, in the municipality of Ponta Delgada, said that “most of the accumulated materials are the result of the storm that occurred on August 20th”.
The head of the Environment portfolio, quoted in a press release, said that, “since the most severe impacts occurred in the parishes of Remédios da Bretanha, Santo António, Ajuda da Bretanha, Capelas, Ginetes and Mosteiros, in the municipality of Ponta Delgada, the regional secretariat naturally prioritized its most immediate efforts to resolve the problems in these parishes”.
“The large amount of material swept away and deposited in gullies upstream of the population centers in these parishes considerably increased the risk to which the population would be subjected in the event of new occurrences,” he added.
According to the authorities, all the operational teams led by the Regional Directorate for Spatial Planning and Water Resources, including Sete Cidades, have been mobilized to intervene in the affected areas.
Part of the Sete Cidades team has been back working in the area since Monday.
“Furthermore, on August 23rd, that is, three days after the storm, and using an external service, work began to clear and clean the large retention basin in Sete Cidades, with the aim of reducing the risk of new occurrences, and this procedure has now been completed,” said Alonso Miguel.
He stressed that the Canto dos Carneiros retention basin was “completely clean before the storm” and is now being cleaned again.
He said that “considerable volumes of material were swept away as a result of landslides in the Criações and Grota do Inferno areas, as well as large quantities of wood from forest cuts carried out within the river basin”.
Between the night of August 20 and the following day, in the municipalities of Ponta Delgada and Ribeira Grande, in São Miguel, 56 incidents were recorded as a result of heavy rain.
Four households, a total of 17 people, were left homeless in the parishes of Ginetes, Santo António and Remédios da Bretanha, and a temporary housing solution was found.