Thanks to Janice Pemberton for this update on the rock fall in Calheta.
Interesting information regarding the recent rock falls at Calheta Beach.
The geographer and environmentalist Raimundo Quintal said today, in an interview with Funchal News that the hotel occupancy and area of services in Calheta happened without the necessary guarantees of security and should never have been given over to residential.
Previously, he said, there was a village at the mouth of the river, and then another smaller village, located where the new hotel now is and previously there was a mill.
“The truth is that for so many centuries, across that front there had never been buildings, there were only caves in the rock where they kept the boats … People knew that the escarpment was extremely unstable, and that this was regarded as a risk zone,” So people should never have settled in that space or developed major activities. It is with the autonomy and the E.U funding that they began to build hotels, cars parking and a number of things like the marina and beach, and people were convinced that by just placing safety nets up on the cliff, it is sufficient. It has been found not to be so.
The well-known environmentalist concerns are that the area is in fact at a high risk of landslides.
The proof is now showing with falling rocks here, and there, but its now not just in the winter that it is happening, because there is indeed a very great instability.”
Hot weather these days may just be giving a little help for these landslides to happen there.
So far, no one has been killed yet, but with the amount of people and activities now in that area, motivated by the beach, the risk of fatal accidents is indeed great.
That segment of the coast between the mouth of the Ribeira da Calheta, and the mouth of the other river, near to where they installed the new hotel is “truly dangerous”.
It is very risky indeed, an abuse of nature, to have built a number of things in that area, and trying to dominated nature … is not possible. The law of gravity is much stronger and more powerful than the will to install activities there. ” So alert ” that area will always be dangerous.