Portugal – 2 Dead After Heavy Rains Trigger Landslide in Esposende

Authorities in the municipality of Esposende in Braga District of northern Portugal report that 2 people have died after a landslide following heavy rainfall.

Civil Protection in Portugal said a landslide and large rocks destroyed part of a single-family home in Palmeira de Faro in Esposende early on 23 November 2022. Two people died and 4 people were rescued unharmed.

A team of over 40 personnel from various emergency services worked for 16 hours to find the bodies of the deceased. Five engineers from the University of Minho were also at the scene.

The landslide also damaged neighbouring homes and residents of 3 houses were evacuated for safety concerns.

“In this tragic moment, the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority offers its deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims,” a Civil Protection statement said.

The second phase of work continues with the evaluation of the slope by the technicians of the Municipal Council of Esposende. The council said it is also providing psychological support to the victims’ families and residents of the area.

A full investigation into the cause of the landslide will take place. However, District Civil Protection said the landslide was likely triggered by heavy rains that have been falling in northern areas of the country over the last few days.

According to figures from the Portuguese Institute for Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA) the city of Esposende recorded 39.3 mm of rain on 20 November. Further heavy rain fell in the area on 22 November, with Vila Nova de Cerveira recording 95.7 mm, Esposende 45.9 mm, Barcelos 91.4 mm and the city of Braga 74 mm.

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