It's amazing how scientists invest thousands of hours in research to help humanity and governments create a better world. These hours are paid for by the same governments which file the results and continue to do what we all know will result in tragedy.
Since 2002 many professors and experts warned about forest fires and suggested the best ways to prevent them. Nothing happened. After the tragedy of Pedrogão Grande, with 65 deaths and half a billion lost in homes, goods and treatment, etc, the Parliament in Lisbon ordered an independent commission which then recommended actions that that had been put forward in 2002.
As nothing had happened, a new forest fire was staged with some 400 coordinated ignition points perfectly timed to cause a major tragedy. This time, a minister had to go as it was her fault, not a structural problem that no government has wished to solve for the past 30 years, least of all in the 15 years since detailed proposals first were put forward.
“With the first strong earthquake probably half a dozen buildings will collapse and most of the elderly citizens who live there will die or be injured. Good for tycoons and construction companies; and for the government which will have to pay out fewer pensions?”
Since the early 1930s, thinking on the earthquake and fires of 1755, there has been a tough law on the calculations to be used for new construction design to guarantee secure foundations to resist earthquakes. But for a few years, councils have not had to approve them. If an engineer, pressed by a project-owner, makes under-strength foundations and the building collapses, there will be a process and after many years, he will be absolved as long as does not commit another crime for two years.
Top earthquake experts predict that soon we may have a strong earthquake in the Algarve. Every year we have one that is felt by some people. Every 6 years we get one that is felt by most of the population, which cracks many walls. A study shows 15% of buildings in the Algarve will be damaged in a big earthquake.
Six years ago an earthquake plus heavy rain destroyed part of the Albufeira-Guia road near Páteo. It took a lot of money to put up a wall to rebuild it, adding two sitting areas for tourists to enjoy a nice view over the marina. Right now, building workers are taking out huge stones and all the compacted earth which holds the foundations of that wall. Because of the big height difference at the buildings on the other side of the road and the tall buildings in the street parallel to the road higher up, a strong earthquake will cause the collapse of probably half a dozen buildings and most of the elderly citizens who live there will die or be injured.
Good for tycoons and construction companies; and for the government which will have to pay out fewer pensions?