Azores party calls for urgent supplies by air

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 07-01-2020 16:10:00 · 0 Comments

The Azores Left Bloc party called on Tuesday for "urgent air supplies of food and basic necessities" for the island of Flores after the passage of Hurricane Lorenzo caused supply problems on the island.

In a note sent by the party's regional structure to newsrooms, the Left Bloc considers that "the urgent supply of food and basic necessities by air should be considered, until the ship Malena starts its activity", warning of the "lack of products in shops and stores".

The party said that "the last supply of goods to the island of Flores by sea was on December 13 and, despite the expected arrival of the ship Malena to Ponta Delgada tomorrow [Wednesday], the schedule of transport of goods to the island of Flores, which the government put on its internet portal so that traders could follow the situation, does not indicate when the next trip will be.

The Malena was chartered by the Regional Government "for a period of three months, with an option to extend the deadline," announced a month ago the regional secretary of Transport and Public Works.

At the time, Ana Cunha said the vessel would immediately go into operation dedicated exclusively to the island of Flores.

The Left Bloc said that "the government has not taken the necessary measures to avoid the shortage of products in shops, which is already happening, mainly at the level of fresh and frozen products," and asks "that the regional government immediately inform the traders and the population of Flores about when the ship Malena will arrive in Flores with goods.

The ship can carry up to 100 20-foot containers, of which 28 can be refrigerated containers, and is equipped with two cranes with a capacity of 35 tonnes, it can also carry fuel and live animals in containers.

Hurricane Lorenzo's passage through the Azores in October 2019 caused the total destruction of the port of Lajes das Flores, which put supplies to the Western group, composed of the islands of Flores and Corvo at risk.

In total, the bad weather caused losses of around €330 million, according to the regional executive, with the national government accepting liability for 85% of that amount.


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