The Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) claims to have recorded thirty rockfalls at Algarve beaches since last summer, due to Winter and Spring storms.
Half of the cases are said to have occurred at Maria Luísa beach, Albufeira, the scene of a gruesome accident in August 2009 when five people were crushed to death by a huge rockfall. (pictured)
As a 'safety measure' to protect summertime tourists, the agency has continued its controversial programme of destroying sections of cliff-top which it and the Algarve Hydrographic Board says are dangerous.
The Maria Luísa beach intervention will carry on until April 28th and involves a 160 metre stretch of cliff where diggers collapsed rock onto the beach below, "to increase the level of security for people and structures because the stability of cliffs is unpredictable, a result of the natural instability of these structures," claims the agency, led by the locally reviled former-president of Polis, Sebastião Teixeira.
Environmental organisations long have held that this brutal destruction the the Algarve's natural clifftops is unnecessary and that alternative strategies should be used to warn people of the dangers of sitting under or near cliffs.
The Algarve section of the Portuguese Environment Agency is intent on continuing this work which, in theory, would remove all the region's cliffs in case a rock fell on someone.
Unwilling to listen to alternatives, the State agency continues with its high-impact and expensive work to the detriment of the region's natural surroundings, stating that its contractors "have been undertaking regular controlled rock falls along the coast to prevent landslides."