Wild weather threatens Portimao, turns Nurburgring into emergency centre

Extreme weather has seen Portimao come under threat from bushfires, while the Nurburgring has become a makeshift emergency base after flooding

Portimao Circuit

If you reside in the northern hemisphere then it won’t have escaped your notice that the weather has been on the extreme and volatile ends of the spectrum.

After a damp and fairly dreary June, the UK is currently basking in a heatwave, whereas in central Europe, record-breaking temperatures have given way to torrential rain and devastating floods that have wreaked havoc across Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Last week downpours swept across the mainland, causing rivers to burst banks and entire communities to be washed away in the deluge. In all, more than 160 are known to have died while the death toll is expected to rise further with more than 1000 still unaccounted for.

With more heavy rain forecast for the next couple of days, emergency services are rushing to get organised in order to help those affected and spare those in areas considered high risk.

As such, the emergency stations are opening up across the nations affected with the Nurburgring becoming a makeshift central point to the relief effort with army, fire, ambulance and police crews using the venue as a base. The Nurburgring’s location in the Rhineland-Palatinate region of the Eifel Mountains makes it susceptible to serious weather events and has become known for its sudden downpours.

Elsewhere in Europe, however, temperatures have been rising with the Algarve International Circuit avoiding disaster this weekend when a serious bushfire broke out in the area surrounding the Portimao-located circuit.

More than 300 firefighters managed to suppress the flames and prevent them from reaching the venue, which will host a second MotoGP race later this year in November.

“Thanks for all the messages we have received ,” circuit director Paulo Pinheiro wrote on Facebook. 

“The Fire Brigade and the forces involved have done an enormous job and the fire is now under control. A very special thanks to the team that took care of the racetrack. They were giants and if you need an example of what courage is, they were. Simply ... thank you very much.”

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