Today’s photo from Tom
"Der, please post that nice dog on your board. I have found him on Monte today. It is lost dog little bit skinny but well behaving and very nice, very small and cute. I cannot keep him longer than 3 days. I am not staying here permanently, otherwise I’ll keep him. Thanks. (Free of charge of course)". Tom. If anyone can help pleeeease … email me and I will pass it on. Der
Many thanks to Becky for these videos :
A guided walk from Monte to Terreiro da Luta – seemingly all uphill and accompanied by the strange choice of some terrifying Holst, which certainly makes you wonder what’s around each corner! If that doesn’t put you off, here’s exactly what to do, and at least it must be all downhill on the way back…
Another walk, this time into the peace and quiet of a Banana Farm in Arco da Calheta, ending with a beautiful view of the sea. No music, just footsteps… and bananas.
Samantha Cox sent me this link for her full interview on the situation on Madeira, saying that the "the show was very positive about coming to Madeira and I think will help allay any fears people may have, especially as the clincher was the chap at the beginning complaining, he came here, and ended the show with a thumbs up report!". BBC RADIO 4 You will need to have / download REALPLAYER to listen.
Many thanks to Paul for sending in this information (2 articles) :
Roads closed temporarily as at 27 February 2010 (list and pdf map)
The Regional Civil Protection Service, IP-RAM, in statement issued on February 27, 2010, reports that are temporarily closed the following regional roads:
E.R. 101 – Caminho dos Pretos
E.R. 101 – Ponta Delgada – Boaventura
E.R. 101-10 Madalena do Mar – Ponta do Sol
E.R. 103 – Ribeiro Frio – Poiso
E.R. 103 – Zona do Cabouco
E.R. 104 – Serra D’ Água – Meia Légua
E.R. 105 – Boca da Encumeada – Estanquinhos
E.R.107-1 – Acesso à Eira do Serrado
E.R. 213 – São Roque do Faial
E.R. 222 – Sítio da Santinha – Ponte
E.R. 223 – Jardim do Mar – Estreito da Calheta
E.R. 227 – Ribeira da Tabua
E.R. 229 – Lugar da Ribeira (Bridge) – Campanário
Exit Ribeira Brava Motor way- Cruzamento do Rosário
Serra d’Água old road – Tunnel Sacramento
Estreito da Calheta – Jardim do Mar
Luso-Brasileira -Pestana Júnior
Motor way acess to Encumeada
The Regional Civil Protection Service, IP-RAM, reports that the following regional roads are partially closed:
E.R. 102 – Camacha – Santo da Serra
E.R. 103 – Monte – Poiso
E.R. 107 – Romeiras-Curral das Freiras MAP OF ROAD CLOSURES INFORMATION SOURCE
Viva Madeira, Viva Jersey! One primary school in Jersey raises nearly 800 euros for Madeira!
PUPILS at Springfield Primary School in the capital of Jersey, St.Helier, my homeland, have raised more than £700 for the Jersey ‘Side by Side’ appeal for Madeira yesterday – the most the school has ever raised at a fundraising event.
The school, which has many students of Madeiran descent, organised a ‘Madeira Day’ during which the students paid £1 to wear yellow and blue, the colours of the Madeiran flag.
There was also a cake sale, face painting and blue and yellow friendship bracelets on sale. One girl even donated £50 of her birthday money to the fundraising total. Teacher Jackie Meneses, who herself has family in Madeira, said that the day had been an emotional one.
‘It was amazing,’ she said. ‘We made the most amount of money we have ever made in fundraising and we have also been given a £100 voucher for La Capannina restaurant, the most famous Italian restaurant on the island for which we hope to organise a competition of some sort. I was quite emotional and we were just overawed by the generosity of people.’
Many people from the Madeiran community came up to us and said thank you for doing this.’ LINK
‘Viva Madeira! Viva Guernsey! An aid lorry is leaving Guernsey this weekend to help those affected by the flash flood in Madeira.
Elvio Pires, president of the Guernsey Portuguese Association, said there had been a great response to their appeal.
He said the lorry had been packed with clothing, hygienic products and other items to help those who lost everything in the flood earlier this week.
Mr Pires paid tribute to those from the island who helped to fill the lorry "in just two days".
He said: "Thank you to everyone who brought stuff to send over, locals, people from the Latvian community, from the Polish community and of course from the Madeiran community."
Mr Pires, along with a majority of the island’s Portuguese community, has family in Madeira. Map of Bailiwick of Guernsey labelled in the Guernsey language SOURCE BBC
It’s great what is going on to try and help, and these are just two more cases, and the East Timor story of Friday, and I heard on the radio that Naval Football Club were donating their match receipts to help Madeira, from their game yesterday (Naval won 2 – 1). But only one person (thank you) has answered the question yesterday from Roslyn. Does that mean that no blog reader has donated anything yet … can’t be? Can it? I can admit that I haven’t as yet, but I want to, and I need to know as much as Roslyn, and sooner rather than later.
Tom put a comment on yesterday’s blog comments: "Just returned from Monte. Babosas is destroyed totally. Church standing there Friday a week ago is a pile of rumble. Two huge rocks like 2m high rolled over the church like a bomb. Only the steps of the church and back washrooms survived. Clean up in progress".
He then sent me in these photos, adding "Here you have Monte / Babosas? and the gone small antic church. You can see two bombs — huge rocks. They went from the hill behind the church and destroyed it totally and completely. This is unbelievable. Today I went to the heart / mouth of the beginning of the flash flood high above Monte inside eucalyptus forest (I do not advice going there). Two streams (one is already gone today, the second is miniscule today). They join together at the end of the forest and run down with tremendous force carving a huge valley on its way. Just 300-400 meters below, the first obstacle was the small church. As you see there is not much left. Only the church washrooms survive just because they were hidden aside. Moonlike picture".
It was a very short press conference yesterday evening, as the government spokesperson briefed those interested on what has happened since the last one. The main point was that ALL schools will be open as usual tomorrow. Conceição Estudante added that the roads that serve the schools may still have restrictions, and the parking, and of course public transport will not be fully back to normal, but a little extra effort if needed wouldn’t do any harm. She spoke briefly about a couple of works that were now underway, including the access problem at Paul do Mar.
Conceição Estudante, as many will know, is the Regional Secretary for Transport and Tourism. So why has she been the spokeswoman for the Madeira Government over the last week, and throughout this catastrophe? Not the ideal person as far as jobs go. Maybe because the most important aspect of all this is minimising the impact on present and future tourism? Definitely not! Conceição Estudante is a brilliant performer in public relations, and not that she needed to prove the point, but she has done a tremendous job in presenting the bad news, and some good recovery news as well, and also in representing her somewhat less credible lords and masters.
She came a bit unstuck on the controversy of ‘counting the dead’, but I would guess that she was doing exactly what she was asked to do, and when the ‘game was up’, she came back with a response that almost seemed to satisfy the journalists. That’s not to say that the talk of the island is no longer about how the numbers of deceased are still being suppressed, although personally I am one of the few that don’t believe that.
Can you imagine Uncle Bertie or one of his political cronies trying to front that responsibility? I tried, and chortled a little. A return visit to Tabua perhaps (remember Summer 2009) and UB telling the journalists to F*** O** because one asked a difficult question. Or perhaps one of the more senior PSD-M politicians, perhaps the one with a rather large share in the Madeira cement industry here, telling journalists that Serra d’Água would be rebuilt in concrete, without the € signs showing in the rapidly rotating eyeballs in front of an audience that knows the history of the greedy git. And I don’t mean to be disrespectful in this ‘imaginary scenario’, as I should have no doubt that all these fine men would be looking after Madeira and Madeirans, first and foremost. Although the news this week, about turning down the services of a specialised search and rescue team from the Azores, does cast a little shadow over my perception of what might be the true priorities.
The appointment of Conceição Estudante, as the interface between the regional government and the media in these troubled times, was an absolute masterstroke. I take my hat off to the top men that thought that one up, and to the lady herself. Conceição Estudante is not an elected politician, she is appointed to her post by the Regional Government (as far as I have been able to work out so far), and so although obviously she has to tow the party political line of Uncle Bertie, she can actually demonstrate some degree of impartiality and separate herself from some of the nonsense of the politicians that surround her. She does so more often than not, but not always, so outside of this week’s performance she doesn’t quite score full marks on my blackboard.
So what she has done is managed communications about a natural disaster and its consequences, and as a result (I really so hope at least) and is averting a potentially really deep economic crisis, through her credibility, dominating personality, and natural abilities in the complex matters of PR. I am referring of course to Madeira through the eyes of the rest of the world … firstly how we can attract help and financial aid, and secondly without making Madeira look like a crumbling wreck and therefore unattractive to tourism.
I should finish up by saying that only an idiot could actually make Madeira sound like a crumbling wreck, but Madeira is of course the home to the king of that genre. Madeira is of course as beautiful as ever, and following the advice issued by the authorities one will ensure that a holiday or even a lifetime here is as safe as it has ever been.
There is a part two to this ramble which I may publish tomorrow, but I am not sure if publishing it now would be insensitive in the circumstances … logo se vê.
Many thanks to Elaine for yesterday’s top news stories :
Storm devastates Aviceiros. Montado dos Aviceiros is a property located at 1,200 metres above sea level in the zone of Campanário in Ribeira Brava. It was destroyed last Saturday during the storm. Access is only through the Boca da Corrida in Jardim da Serra and it is situated two kilometres from the Forest Rangers post. The aim of the Montado dos Aviceiros project is to restore the original vegetation of the valleys and the construction of a self-sufficient ecovillage to enable a healthy lifestyle. Over several years, the flora found at this altitude has been restored with the infrastructure to support mountain tourism, agriculture and livestock farming. There have been training courses organized on various topics and group workshops. At the site, two houses have been used by nature lovers, up to 15 at a time, who have enjoyed the various footpaths. The excessive rain during 2009 / 2010 destroyed the natural cohesion of the shallow soils of these slopes, so the soil could not support the heavy rainfall on February 20th. The slopes gave way, carrying earth and stones to the lower area which serves as a flat surface for houses, agricultural store rooms and car parks. There were no casualties, only material damage and all planned activities have been cancelled. As well as flora found at this altitude, there are chestnut and walnut trees and the area is ideal for both nesting and visiting birds, the most evident is the ever present Manta.
Caritas is now asking for donations of furniture and household equipment. Caritas is working in conjunction with the Army and Social Security and people are beginning to be rehoused. They are distributing donated food and hygiene products throughout the counties and now also need furniture, electrical domestic appliances, equipment and utensils for those rehoused. The priority is to distribute goods to people who have lost everything, but they do not need any more clothing at present. Goods can be delivered to RG3 and the two community centres of the Associação de Desenvolvimento Comunitário do Funchal, in Vargem (Nazaré) and Murteiras. Large items are being collected at a warehouse in Ribeira João Gomes.
Câmara de Lobos has a loss of 35 million euros. This is a conservative estimate and will increase. Curral das Freiras and Jardim da Serra were the parishes most affected by landslides. The storm caused one death, one person missing and 50 – 60 homeless families, 15 still housed in community centres. Debris has been removed form the mouth of the ribeira da Alforra and up to yesterday, 7,500 cubic metres of debris have been removed and dumped. The council had wanted a new road access to Curral das Freiras but this decision was overturned by the PSD in the last Municipal Assembly, and President Jardim said it was absurd to speak of a new access. The mayor has always expressed his concern that the parish should always be safely accessible and the problems of isolation of this area need to be solved.
Hundreds of people are helping in the collection and separation of food. At the Mercado Abastecedor de São Martinho, over 200 volunteers have been separating food and other usable items donated by Jerónimo Martins. These have been rescued from the group’s flooded Pingo Doce shops in Anadia and Doce Vita. The products will be delivered to families affected by the storm. The estimate is that 30% of the stock at the supermarket in Anadia and 80% of the stock in Dolce Vita have arrived and would be worth about one million euros in the food market. Everything that was salvageable from the mud has been delivered to this centre and the rice that had become moist went to SPAD for animal feed. The more perishable products like fruit and vegetables have been delivered to support centres in the most affected parishes and to charities. The cleaned and separated products are now being packaged for delivery to relocated families. Even children have helped, especially as there has been no school and they have nothing to do, alongside students and teachers.
Youngsters apprehended robbing a devastated house. Two people were arrested early on Tuesday at Seara Velha in Curral das Freiras after attempting to steal from a house that had collapsed during last Saturday’s storm. The two, aged 17 and 21, live in Curral das Freiras, were armed with a shotgun and fired at arriving police. They eventually surrendered without the police having to shoot back. There have been other attempts in Funchal, including an assault on a bank and a shop during the chaotic first hours of the flood. Both of these individuals were arrested.
Mundovip launches campaign ‘Celebrate Recovery’. A promotional package for the domestic market, ‘Come to the Flower Festival to celebrate the recovery of Madeira’. Mundovip is the largest tourism operator in Portugal and is offering from 15 – 17 April, flights on TAP and SATA from Lisbon and bed and breakfast accommodation at the five star CS Madeira Hotel. Rates are between 209 and 462 euros, and 133 euros for children. They also have a promotion with accommodation at the Quinta da Bela Vista. However, the Spanish tour operator ‘Portugal Tour’ has had cancellations for Easter. They consider this to be normal considering that Spanish television has focused every day on the disaster. The tour operators might find more tourists prefer the island of Porto Santo.
‘Hope for Madeira’ is tomorrow (Sunday). The solidarity gala at the Coliseu dos Recreios in Lisbon starts at 21.45 tomorrow (Sunday). It hosts several top Portuguese musicians and will be broadcasted live on SIC television.
‘Voices of the Songs of Fado’ unite for Madeira. This show will be held on Saturday March 6 at 21.00 at the Centro de Congressos da Madeira. Tickets on sale at the Congress Centre (and possibly FNAC) cost 15 euros.
Mural de Berardo destroyed at Monte. A mural dating from 1991, by the Argentinian artist Alberto Cedrón, was destroyed at the Quinta do Monte. A landslide fell onto the wall comprising of multiple panels in ceramics. This mural was titled, Adventure of the Portuguese in Japan, and measured 20 x 2 metres. Only one third of the panel is in a good condition and the rest has been partially or totally destroyed. It is not known what can be restored.
Today’s news headlines from the front page of the Diário de Notícias :
Today’s main news headline : Excavators head for Serra de Água – Completed the clearances of the river beds in Funchal, the constructors now have a new large scale objective.
Tempest leaves €500 thousand [worth] of inert materials piled up.
Navy continues searches in Santo António.
The large photo, bottom right, shows a devastating scene on a major road : Earthquake in Chile causes 214 deaths.
Diário to pay tribute to the victims and heroes of the catastrophe.
Government prepares restart of lessons on Monday. The Regional Secretary for Education calls for "common sense in analysing" the issues of lateness and absences.
Waves lash the pool at the Lido [Funchal] – Part of the edge is destroyed.
The night was calm, despite the Weather Office warnings.
The main sport / football headline today : They got away with 35 thousand Euros for Madeira – Marítimo lost the game of solidarity.
Madaíl asks for support from UEFA to restore the Madeiran sports park.
If anyone else can oblige with the translation of any of the ‘blank’ or sparsely filled headlines, or other news stories, here is the link. All contributions much appreciated.
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