Authorities guarantee the safety for the “Pope´s Visit party”
Mayor of Ourem expects one million pilgrims on the 12th and 13th of May
“Party”, “security”, “Joy” and “tranquillity” were the most herd words this morning in Fatima, at the press conference for the presentation of the operation organized for the Pope´s visit on the 12th and 13th of May.
The operation, “most likely the larger ever done in Fatima”, as Paulo Fonseca, Mayor of Ourém described, involves several entities such as the municipality, the Shrine of Fatima, represented in the press conference by Rector Fr. Carlos Cabecinhas, the National Civil Protection Authority and the GNR, the Commercial and Industrial Association of Ourem and the Parish Council of Fatima.
One million people
Foreseeing that on the 12th and 13th of May one million people will be in Fatima and eight million people in total in this Centennial of the Apparitions, the Mayor underlined the “tranquillity” with which the event is seen, stating that all is assured for a safe welcoming of everyone, thanks to the work in “absolute cordiality, solidarity and complementarity” of the entities involved.
To respond to the expected increase of pilgrims who will be dislocating by car, Paulo Fonseca announced the existence of 20 grants of parking outside the Shrine´s area, with variable distances from the Prayer Area, and the possibility of the pilgrims to use 75 free transfers which will circulate to provide dislocations to and from the Shrine.
The parking grants, coded in four colours, will add 18.000 places to the existing parks in the Shrine´s area, which, he underlined, will have their capacity, of 5.000 spaces, rapidly filled.
The pilgrims will be guided by a ticket system which allows to know the location of the park.
Also, there will be three parks exclusively destined for tourism buses and another parking grant for pilgrims with reduced mobility.
Giant screens will be installed in and out of the Prayer Area
Four giant screens announced by the Shrine´s Rector will be distributed in Fatima as a way to dilute the pressure over the Prayer Area, said, announcing that the Autarchy will install a Pilgrim Support Office in the Tourism Office of Fatima (firstname.lastname@example.org - 249 070 303).
The Shrine will also place in the Prayer Area at least six giant screens, transmitting its television signal, with Portuguese gestural language.
The Mayor of Ourem appealed to the “tolerance and comprehension” of the town residents to the circulation restrictions they will have imposed in those days, advising them to take the appropriated precautions with the products and goods supply for those days.
The operation does not resume itself to Fatima
Major Bruno Marques, from GNR, referred that the operation developed by that force will happen between the 1st and the 14th of May, being responsible, not only for the general security, but also the Pope´s protection, the traffic management and traffic flow, among others.
Refusing, for safety reasons, to reveal the number of officers involved, he underlined the advice to the pilgrims on foot and the need to avoid the freeway, for those who come to Fatima by car, recommending other roads such as the A8, A13, A23 and the IC9.
Lieutenant-Coronel Albino Tavares, vice-president of the National Authority of the Civil Protection (ANPC), said that the Operation Fatima 2017, which compromises entities such as the Army, Air Force, INEM, Red Cross, Fireman and the National Scouts Corp, among others, will not be resumed to the area of Fatima, extending itself to the districts of Coimbra, Castelo Branco, Leiria, Portalegre and Santarem.
“It will be a safe pilgrimage, as we all want it to be”, he said, indicating that the pilgrims can access to the Operation Fatima 2017 website (www.protecaocivilfatima.pt) and to a mobile app developed by the ANPC, both with useful information about the paths and roads to use, safety procedures, places to stay the night and parking spaces, as well as water points and First Aid stations.
To the pilgrims who can find a place to stay and want to stay for the night, a camping area will be available next to the Fatima Sports Centre game field with the minimal conditions.
“In a determine and friendly way” the GNR will persuade the pilgrims from installing tents in the Prayer Area in order to stay the night, Major Bruno Ramos underlined.
Pope Francis presides on the 12th and 13th of May to the International Pilgrimage of the Centennial of the Apparitions.