The Agriculture Ministry has estimated the agricultural damage caused by the storm Leslie, which struck Portugal between 13 and 14 October, at almost 30 million euros and announced measures to support farmers.
"So far, and in the aftermath of the storm Leslie, 1,422 declarations of losses have been registered in the districts of Leiria, Coimbra, Aveiro and Viseu. The Ministry of Agriculture estimates the losses suffered by farmers at 29.8 million euros, "the government said in a statement.
According to the ministry led by Luís Capoulas Santos, of this estimate, 10.5 million euros relate to losses in temporary crops, which are covered by the crop insurance system, which the Government supports, "subsidizing by about 60% the insurance premiums ". In turn, the remaining EUR 19.3 million result from other losses, which will also be covered by support measures.
In order to cope with the damage caused by the storm, the Ministry of Agriculture will provide two guaranteed credit lines, one of two million euros to "exclusively support the cash requirements of agricultural cooperatives and other producer organizations" and another EUR 10 million "to which farmers […] destined to the replacement of affected installations and equipment ".
The Government also stressed that the second line of credit "extends to other sectors of activity". On October 15, the Ministry of Agriculture had already announced a support of 15 million euros, in default, for the restoration of productive potential. The levels of support, within this measure, reach 100% for losses up to 5,000 euros, 85% between 5,000 euros and 50,000 euros and 50% between 50,000 and 800,000 euros.
The measure covers infrastructure, facilities and agricultural equipment as well as losses in livestock and permanent crops such as olive groves and orchards. The expenses are eligible from October 13 and payments can take place after the contracting of the projects with the Institute of Financing of Agriculture and Fisheries (IFAP), "against presentation of invoice, and the farmers can start work from now on."
The passage of Hurricane Leslie through Portugal, where it arrived as a tropical storm, caused 28 light injuries and 61 evacuees. The Civil Protection mobilized 8,217 operational, which have to respond to 2,495 occurrences, especially fall of trees and structures and landslides. The district most affected by Leslie was that of Coimbra, where the storm, with a "very erratic route", was felt with greater intensity, according to the National Civil Protection Authority (ANPC).
In Figueira da Foz, a gust of wind reached about 176 kilometers per hour on the 13th, the highest figure recorded in Portugal, according to the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA).