Yesterday afternoon, the banks of the River Gilão in Tavira were flooded, due to sea turbulence, luckily without major consequences.
This type of flooding occurs in regions exposed to sea turbulence, with the water reaching, in a short period of time, apparently safe areas. The phenomenon happens occassionally on various areas of the Algarve coast, resulting from the combination of high tides with a stacking effect (accumulation) of oceanic water bodies close to the coast, usually due to the action of wind and strong sea agitation from the southwest.
The first rainfalls sometimes prove to be more serious, causing road accidents and urban floods after a long dry period where many materials were piled up on the roads, and in ditches. Prevention plays an important role in minimizing the most serious consequences of this natural phenomenon.
The Tavira Fire and Civil Protection Office advise that the impact of these effects can be minimized by:
- cleaning of water channels, ditches and other rainwater and domestic sewage, mainly near bridges and other potential bottlenecks to natural runoff;
- verification and corrective maintenance of urban drainage systems;
- surveillance and detection of 'critical points' that, affected by the floods, can affect the life of the community (such as support walls or embankments that may collapse and interrupt communications, buildings at risk of ruin, pontoons that may be submerged or whose floors can be damaged or destroyed);
- recognition of habitually flooded areas, subject to the advance of the sea, as well as the foreseeable effects of heavy rain and stormy / agitated situations;
- reinforcement of prevention and active surveillance measures in the most sensitive places, in particular attention to the coast, water lines, roads and railways;
- monitoring potential instabilities in structures (bridges, viaducts, embankments, support structures, etc.) that may be affected;
- monitoring possible movements of slopes, especially with population groups, roads and railways, given the potential increase in their instability.
Original article available in Portuguese at http://postal.pt/