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Horta ,  December 13, 2019

Problem of supply to Flores was never in the vessels but in Lajes Port, says Ana Cunha

The Regional Secretary for Transport and Public Works stated at the Legislative Assembly in Horta that the problem of supply to Flores Island, after the passage of hurricane Lorenzo, "was never in the vessel" but in the Lajes port, which "was destroyed."
Ana Cunha pointed out that, due to this situation, on the day after the hurricane struck "we did not even know whether we would have a mooring quay."
The Regional Secretary also recalled that the destruction of Lajes das Flores Port also became a problem for Corvo as this island was supplied from Flores.
The Secretary for Transport recalled that "we have tried to set up an independent circuit from the very first moment, so that the island of Corvo would not be affected by the situation occurring on Flores Island.
"The vessel issue could only be solved from the moment we knew which type of mooring quay was operational and under which conditions," said Ana Cunha.
"We issued the first public notice authorising the supply of Flores by certain types of vessels and those that met the stipulated criteria were local traffic vessels, namely those owned by the Graciosense Maritime Transport company. In a huge effort of collaboration with the Regional Government, and with the limitations we are aware of, these vessels began supplying this island." In the meantime, "the vessel 'São Jorge' initially managed to supply fuel without mooring in the quay as it was not possible to do so," stressed the Regional Secretary.
"The dredging and cleaning works carried by the Regional Maritime Authorities in Lajes port have managed to expand the mooring area of the quay, which allows the operation of vessels with greater draught" was possible," stressed Ana Cunha. According to her, from that moment, it was possible to negotiate and charter a vessel in just three days after the publication of the notice by the Maritime Authority."
The Regional Secretary stressed that the supply to Flores will return to normal from the entry of operation of the vessel "Malena," which is due to arrive in the Azores by January 10.
Regarding the frequency of supply to Flores Island so far, the government official said “the number of travels was not in accordance with what was initially scheduled due to weather reasons, which go beyond our control." Nevertheless, she recalled “the huge effort that was undertaken each time a weekly travel failed, so that local traffic vessels could make that missed travel the following week or even the same week”
For the Regional Secretary, guaranteeing the supply to Flores is the Regional Government's main priority. In this regard, she acknowledged that "the times ahead of us will not be easy and everyone is aware of that."
"We have a destroyed port to rebuild. Only those who have never been there are not aware of the scenario of destruction we are facing," the government official said.
“We have temporary works to carry out to protect the port, so that during the coming winter - because we have been lucky with the weather but it could get worse from now on - the sea does not destroy again the little we have accomplished. Additionally, we have a long-term project to rebuild the Lajes das Flores commercial port," said Ana Cunha.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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