Volunteers Work To Clean Up Silves After Tornado

"silves help"Around one thousand volunteers came together in Silves yesterday (Sunday) to help in a massive clean up operation following the tornado that hit the city on Friday afternoon.

The high winds, heavy rain and lightening left a trail of destruction across Silves with the worst hit areas being around the municipal swimming pool and the Silves football club.

The newly instated mayor of Silves, Rogério Pinto, thanked all of the people who had responded to the plea for help from the mayor and added that people had not only come from other areas of Silves but also from other areas of the Algarve to come and help in the massive clean up effort.

Speaking to the Portuguese news agency Lusa he said: “This is a sign that when it comes to it we are all prepared to roll up our sleeves and act in the spirit of solidarity.

“We saw the tornado hit and destroy so much in a very short space of time but now we are witnessing a tornado of goodness.”

He added that he had no words to be able describe the feeling created by seeing a thousand people come together to help the city of Silves.

“Anyone who saw the level of destruction in Silves will now find a completely different city thanks to the clean up operation,” said Rogério Pinto.

Silves Câmara put out a plea to people using their Facebook page to ask for helpers to meet at the municipal swimming pool area of the city between 8am and 9am on Sunday morning.  Anyone attending was told they could work for a s long as they could give up their time for and they would be assigned different tasks to ensure that the effort was well coordinated and skills were used in the best places possible.

in total more than one thousand people responded to the call for help.

The mayor of Silves said that if the work to clean up Silves had been left to Câmara workers only it would have taken much longer to complete: “If we were only using our own staff it would have taken more than two months for us to clean up all the mess.  The work of all these people meant that we could complete the work in just one morning.”

A preliminary report into the damage caused by the tornado on Friday is expected by Silves mayor either today or tomorrow (Tuesday).

Anyone who has experienced damage is asked to report it to the local GNR and this will then be collated together with all other reports to allow for a more detailed assessment of the situation in Silves after the tornado.

In total 13 people were injured and 12 people were left homeless after the tornado that hit Lagoa, Silves and Carvoeiro.  two women were left seriously injured and they remain in hospital.