Macedo de Cavaleiros with 230 thousand euros of bad weather damages and asks the Government for help

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The municipality of Macedo de Cavaleiros, in the Bragança district, accounts for 230,000 euros of damage caused by thunderstorms and is asking the government for help to restore infrastructure in the villages and for agriculture, the municipality announced today.

The Macedo de Cavaleiros City Hall has been in the last few days counting the damages caused by the thunderstorms in the beginning of June and says that “they amount to 230 thousand euros”, being the parish of Cortiços the most affected, but there are also other villages with “total losses in the cultivation of cereals and around 90% in vegetables”.

The town councilor responsible for Civil Protection, Paulo Rogão, said that “the Regional Directorate of Agriculture and Fisheries of the North and the Regional Coordination and Development Commission of the North will be contacted, so that mechanisms can be found to support farms.

“It’s the future of these people that is at stake, because often the cultivation of the land is the basis of the family’s financial sustenance. Many of these people have their own vegetable garden where they produce food for their daily lives,” said the mayor.

The survey of the damage was done by the municipality and has already been sent to the Intermunicipal Community of Terras de Trás-os-Montes, which will also send it to the competent authorities.

According to the municipality, “the slopes in which the villages are located, associated with the heavy rainfall and hail, contributed to a scenario of destruction.

In the last two weeks, technicians from the Environment and Urban Services Division and from EDRU – Macedo de Cavaleiros’ Entrepreneurship and Rural Development Office – have been in the affected locations to survey the situations.

In the case of the public domain, according to the councilman, “the damage was very significant, since the slope of the village of Cortiços contributed to a torrent that ripped out the sidewalk, in granite cubes, and swept away traffic signs, street furniture, and brought down walls and railings protecting the public roads.

According to the final report of the local authority services, there is also “the need to proceed with the replacement of the rainwater drainage network, because it was badly damaged.

The Cortiços Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) “was badly affected by the storm, leading to the need for intervention to restore all of its normal operation.

“Among the numerous works that need to be done, we account for a sum of around 223 thousand Euros just regarding the damage caused to public domain equipment,” he pointed out.

Paulo Rogão pointed out that “equally worrying are the damages to the agricultural crops, not only for this harvest, but also for the future”.

According to the survey, “in the olive grove culture there were harmful consequences, both in terms of land dragging and in terms of production, which is estimated to have been affected by about 30%.

“An even more serious scenario” is seen in vegetables, “with losses of 90% and no possibility of recovery, with the aggravating factor that they cannot be replaced by the processes of sowing and planting.

The municipality also mentions that, in the “case of cereals, where the losses are total, because they are broken and wrapped in earth, it will not be possible to cut and thresh them.

In the checks carried out in the field, “it is estimated that the affected areas are around 10 hectares of vegetables, 13 hectares of olive groves, eight hectares of corn, three hectares of cereals affected, and four hectares of vines and marshland”.

“The destruction of soil structure caused by heavy rainfall has done irreparable damage and will affect future crops, and the permanent loss of surface layers leads to reduced productivity, land depreciation, loss of nutrients and organic matter,” he explained.

In villages with flatter terrain, such as Limãos, “the soils have become saturated with water and with the pores filled the oxygen does not circulate, which decreases the growth of the roots and can lead to their death.

Given this scenario, the municipal executive “suggests the realization of awareness-raising actions among farmers to change some cultural practices in order to conserve the soil and to clean and maintain natural water lines.

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