Lisbon – Hurricane Leslie lost intensity today but is approaching faster than expected to Portugal, which remains on red alert and is prepared for the ravages that may cause the wind, precipitation and maritime agitation.
Leslie "It lost intensity but gained speed, it will reach ground faster than expected and altered its trajectory towards the north of Lisbon", explained in press statements the district commander of the National Civil Protection Authority (ANPC) Luís Belo Costa.
Although the most critical period is scheduled for dawn, the effects of Leslie are already beginning to be noticed in the Portuguese country, where 13 of the 18 districts of the continental territory remain on red alert.
Belo Costa explained that the most affected areas will be the districts located between Oporto (north) and Setúbal (south of Lisbon).
"Our concern increases significantly with respect to the fall of structures and trees and the electric power and communications transport networks will be affected", said the commander, who asked to avoid driving with the car between 11:00 p.m. today and 4:00 a.m. Sunday.
At the moment it is not planned to close the two bridges that cross the Tagus to give access to Lisbon, although the authorities do not rule out having to resort to this measure if the situation gets complicated.
The capital is preparing to receive the storm and several pavilions will remain open during the night to welcome the homeless, as well as two metro stations, announced at a press conference by the mayor of Lisbon, Fernando Medina.
In addition, the National Maritime Authority decided to close to navigation nine ports of the country and some coastal roads remain closed to traffic, while Civil Protection in the afternoon requested fishermen to return to land.
The power company Energías de Portugal (EDP) alerted the population that the energy supply could be affected by Hurricane Leslie and would reinforce the means in the areas where the greatest impact is expected.
The weather forecast also led to the cancellation of cultural shows and the postponement of the Lisbon Marathon to be held on Sunday, which will begin one hour later than originally announced to avoid the effects of the storm.