The erosion is eating the coast of Portugal

L'érosion grignote les côtes du Portugal

L'érosion grignote les côtes du Portugal

The inhabitants of Paramos Beach, in the north of Portugal, are in revolt, because the houses where they have always lived will be demolished.

The Portuguese Agency for the environment considers that the village, which consists of a hundred houses, is threatened by coastal erosion, a classical phenomenon, but exacerbated by climate change.

Alfredo Maganinho, an inhabitant of Paramos Beach : “I think it is absurd. We have never had problems, big problems with the sea. You can feel the sea spray from the Ocean when you are in front of the chapel, but this is not serious.”

Benvinda Rocha, resident of Paramos Beach : “The sea does not harm anyone. I am not afraid. I just afraid of losing my home and my business, because at my age, I will not be able to get anything else. I’m not going to go, even if they force me to do it.”

The mayor of Espinho, which is Paramos Beach, believes that the demolition of these houses is not the best solution to protect the village from coastal erosion.

Pinto Moreira, mayor of Espinho : “We believe that by investing in the defense of the coasts, in new techniques to protect them, including techniques offshore, and now the population here, we are strengthening the resilience of this population and we prevent the sea from moving forward more and more.”

The Portuguese authorities provide for the demolition of dozens of other houses and buildings on the 122-kilometer coastline situated between Caminha and Espinho, in the north of the country.

Among these buildings, which will soon be destroyed, there is a famous which has cost 7 and a half million euros.

It was built in Porto by the catalan architect Solà-Morales, when the city was designated european capital of culture in 2001.

Filipa Soares is our special envoy to Porto : “This is only one of the measures planned by the authorities. Over the next ten years, Portugal is going to spend close to € 470 million to try to reduce the risk from coastal erosion and reduce its vulnerability to climate change.”

Journalist • Vincent Ménard