Portuguese president warns of risk of fires

  • World
  • Monday, 11 Jul 2022

LISBON, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa on Sunday called for residents to take the utmost care with the risk of fires in the country, which will reach "a peak of aggravation" in the coming days and will extend throughout the week.

According to the head of state, Portugal is experiencing "a much more serious situation" of drought and heat than the one "normally faced in the summer period."

Speaking to the press at the headquarters of the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority, in Lisbon, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa admitted that the risk of fires "could increase dramatically" from Tuesday, July 12, "covering the entire national territory."

He appealed to the Portuguese and "local authorities" to limit activities that "involve risks".

In the meantime, Portugal activated the European Civil Protection Mechanism on Sunday to request "emergency assistance for fires in the central part of the country."

"As an immediate response, the European Commission this morning mobilized two Canadair firefighting planes from its fleet located in Spain," the European Union's executive body said in a statement.

The situation is worsening in the country's central region and at the border with Spain, a fact that led Portugal to join efforts with the neighboring country to share equipment, agents, and planes to fight against forest fires.

Portugal recorded 32 outbreaks of forest fires on Sunday, according to the National Authority for Emergency and Civil Protection.

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