Wednesday, July 5, 2023

WEDNESDAY BRIEFING

 

Mid-week headline news 

                                  – July 5


Widespread wildfire dangers

Thirty-five Portuguese municipalities in six districts from Bragan├ža in the north to the Algarve in the south are at “maximum” risk of wildfires, the national meteorological office warned yesterday. A total of about 80 municipalities across Portugal, including the whole of the Alentejo region, are reckoned to be at “very high risk”. It is expected to be a worse year for wildfires than in 2022, mainly because of the drought, and winds in the Algarve.

Hunger amomg Alentejo farm animals

The drought situation in the Baixo Alentejo region is so severe that many farm animals have little food or water. Fodder, when it exists, has tripled in price. Luca News has reported that farmers are facing “a nightmare” this summer because of a lack of hay. The lowest level of dam water in the whole country is in the Monte da Rocha reservoir in Ourique, which provides water for the entire Alentejo Baixa. It is down to 9% capacity. In the last 10 years it has never reached full capacity. 

Electricity from Renewables

In the first half of this year, wind power has provided 25% of Portugal’s electricity needs, and hydroelectric sources 23%. Renewable production in total has contributed 61%. These figures were reported yesterday by the national electricity company RENS.

Grossly inadequate housing 

Municipalities across the country have identified 77,000 families living in “undignified” conditions. Parliament heard this yesterday from the housing minister, who noted that almost 84% of Portugal’s municipalities are developing local housing strategies under the so-called 1st Right programme.

Harmful bacteria in water supplies

A new study has concluded that microplastics polluting some domestic water systems are accumulating more pathological bacteria resistant to antibiotics. The results of the study were released on Monday by the Faculty of Science and Technology at the University of Coimbra.

The Portuguese press  

The front pages in the main Portuguese newspapers so far this week have been reporting on a court case about the shocking death of a young girl, lack of workers in the tourist industry, workplace harassment, and preparations for the World Youth Day mass event in Lisbon, with concerns that rubbish collectors in the capital may go on strike.

 Weekend weather

It is expected to be slightly cooler in the Algarve with highs of 31C on Saturday and 34C on Sunday. It will probably heat up with temperatures returning to 37C on Tuesday. Lisbon temperatures will probably be 27-28 degrees. Similar temperatures are forecasts for the north of the country with grey skies and a little rain. The central interior areas are likely to experience 31-33 degrees over the weekend, but up to 38C by the end of next week. 

  

  

 


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