Madeira Classical Orchestra plays tonight ; New Toyota dealership ; Cost of living hurting

Today’s photo – Many thanks to Tom … "strange light on the sea during sun rise".

madeira news blog 1002 tom strange light on the sea during sun riseMany thanks to Becky for these web snippets :

"Madeira has a long and venerable tradition of cocktail-making, based partly in the island’s colonial past and partly in local drinking habits. The colonial side is best exemplified at Reid’s Palace Hotel, the most famous and exclusive on the island, where they serve Martinis, Manhattans and all the other classics. The demotic side is exemplified by the cheap, explosively fiery rum (here called aguardente) which forms the alcoholic basis of poncha." BOOZY WEEKEND?

Lizards eating sugar, bananas and fingers.  Do not watch if you’re at all lizard-phobic!

Vanessa Swesnik very kindly sent in this complete article translation ORIGINAL HERE

União Comercial opens facilities. União Comercial, the company that markets automobiles for the Japanese brand, Toyota, in Madeira spent over two million Euros to construct a building from scratch in São Martinho parish, which will hold all of its administrative and commercial services.

The grand opening will be next Friday, on the 19th of this month. The new building has a total area of 2,400 square meters and meets the need to offer even better service and attention to the client, said Francisco Tavares, manager of the company, to the DIÁRIO.

Toyota automobile sales will now be centralized at 40 Caminho do Poço Barral; garage and post-sales assistance will still be provided in Cancela at the Mendes, Gomes, Lda. facility, an affiliate and Volvo dealer in the Autonomous Region.

Toyota automobiles have enjoyed immense popularity with the people of Madeira for many years. For the past three years, the brand was among Top 3 sales for Madeira. Last year, the brand sold 360 new vehicles on the archipelago and was in first place until the month of November. Christmas sales dropped them to third place. Either way, it is evidence of the prestige and level of satisfaction the brand has earned among Madeirans, acknowledges Francisco Tavares.

With another exterior stand on the roundabout that divides traffic between Pica dos Barcelos and MadeiraShopping, União Comerical now has a team of 20 employers. With the Mendes, Gomes, Lda. workers, the group has close to 90 employees.

An extra article from Elaine, repeated from yesterday, as I didn’t post it until after 7 pm :

Emanuel Salvador plays with the CMO and Ferreira Lobo
Directed by maestro Ferreira Lobo, violinist Emanuel Salvador will play on Saturday. The young Portuguese violinist Emanuel Salvador will play on Saturday February 20 at 21.00 with the Madeira Classical Orchestra, a concert led by José Ferreira Lobo, conductor of the Orquestra do Norte and artistic director of Festival Opera Portimão. Born in 1981, Emanuel Salvador is concertmaster of the Orquestra do Norte.

The program consists of the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Major Opus 61, by Beethoven, Symphony No. 8 in B minor, the ‘Unfinished’, by Schubert, and the Hungarian Dances nos. 1, 3 and 5 by Brahms. Tickets are available Monday to Friday between 13.00 and 17.00 hours in the Tourist Office, Avenida Arriaga, and at the venue (the Congress Centre of Madeira Casino) between 19.00 and 21.00 hours.

Emanuel Salvador has performed in prestigious concert halls in England (St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Southwark Cathedral) in Kazakhstan (Philharmonic Hall), Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal (Centro Cultural de Belém, Gulbenkian Museum) Germany (Palatin, Wiesloch), Spain (Centre for Performing Arts, Salamanca), Italy and Malta (Manoel Theatre). He has won prizes at national and international competition level: 1st prize in the contest ‘Isolde Menges’ (RCM) and Beckenham Festival, Barbirolli Memorial and Wolfson Foundation Award, 2nd prize at the Young Musicians, Honorable Mention at the Julio Cardona International Competition, among others. He won a scholarship to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation from 2000 to 2003, and in 2008 and 2009 to the Instituto Camões. He graduated Bachelor of Music in London at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and gained a Master’s Degree in Musical Performance from the Royal College of Music.

Many thanks to Elaine once again for a couple of web snippets and yesterday’s top news stories :

Portugal outperforms Eurozone Portugal is slowly forcing the spotlight off its national economy by this week, once again showing the state of its finances to be far better than the image being portrayed by some analysts beyond its borders. Support for Lisbon’s view that its economy is firmly set on the path to full recovery has been backed up by figures released by Eurostat, the European Union’s official research agency, indicating Portugal outperformed its Eurozone partners during the final quarter of last year …

Madeira suits me to tee. AN EARLY alarm call signals the start of our first day on the island of eternal spring. It’s pitch black outside as we take a bleary-eyed breakfast in the ornate dining room at the Quinta Serra Golfe, our hotel set in woodland on the edge of the pretty village of Santo da Serra. However, by the time we reach the Santo da Serra Golf Club, less than a mile away, the sky is brightening rapidly. The ocean spreads out below us and the mist drifting down from the mountains disperses as the sun bathes Madeira’s premier course …

DIÁRIO 19/02/2010


Santa Cruz and Ponta do Sol ask for help with coastal protection. The Council of Santa Cruz asked the Regional Secretariat for Social Equipment to place concrete breakwaters, ‘pés de galinha’, in the sea in front of the swimming pools of Praia das Palmeiras, to protect the area from the strong waves that often occur. Every year, the council has to repair the damage to the pools and they want to be ready for when the weather improves and people use the beach. The council has asked informally for help and soon will send a formal letter. The actual impact of the flooding is not yet known as they are waiting for the weather to improve before they attempt any repairs. There has been no major damage but the engine room for the pools has been flooded and railings destroyed. Unlike the beach at Calheta, the beach at Machico has not lost sand or had many stones dragged onto it. It lies sheltered in a cove and the main impact of the bad weather has been debris from a stream that flows alongside the beach. The pool at Porto da Cruz has suffered major damage that occurs every year. Without the capacity or authority to take action to protect the sea front, the Mayor of Ponta do Sol has promised to raise awareness with the authorities responsible for the public maritime domain. The beach at Ponta do Sol was damaged last December and there was some erosion and damage to properties at Lugar de Baixo. The mayor had previously wanted the seawall relocated further away from the beach at Ponta do Sol.


Earth is the theme for the Flower Festival. This year, the Flower Festival will take place between the 15th and 18th April. There will be the usual initiatives: flower carpet; Flower Exhibition; folk groups performing in the streets and classical music concerts. The Wall of Hope ceremony in the Town Square in Funchal, involving thousands of children, will take place on the morning of April 17th. The Flower Parade will be held on the afternoon of Sunday April 18th.


Living in Madeira is more expensive. Madeirans are paying more for services and products. This is the conclusion that can be drawn from the fact that in January, the Index of Consumer Prices was higher than the previous month by 0.2 percentage points. The Index measures changes in prices of a basket of goods and services considered representative of consumption by the population in that area. The only class of items that decreased in average price was Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages. The largest increases were recorded for Clothing and Footwear, followed by Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, then Transport. Although it is difficult to directly compare regions, the most expensive area to live in last year was the Azores, then the Algarve and thirdly, Madeira. At a national level, the Index of Consumer Prices fell 0.3% compared to last December. The cost of living will be influenced by the 3.6% increase in labour costs in the last quarter of last year. The index of labour costs reflects the average cost of labour for each hour actually worked, including pay and costs to the employer. The highest increases in labour costs were for farmers and qualified workers in agriculture and fishing, then officials and senior company staff followed by professional and scientific specialists.

Stocklet offers low prices in Dolce Vita in Funchal. The Dolce Vita commercial mall in Funchal is going to host from 19 – 28 February, Stocklet, an activity that offers shoppers the opportunity to make purchases at lower prices and benefit from special promotions. The campaign involves stores from all sectors, including clothing, telecommunications, bookshops, food, utilities and accessories, among others. Stocklet is an initiative of Dolce Vita which aims to sell the end of season stock at reduced prices as well as have exclusive promotions for customers.


Nunes wants to protect the vale dos Salgados. A deputy of CDU-Madeira, Leonel Nunes, argued in Camacha for the designation ‘protected landscape’ for the Núcleo Habitacional dos Salgados. In this parish, the community is concerned about the ‘appetite’ for housing and think this status will prevent environmental destruction in one of the most beautiful valleys of Madeira. The Núcleo Habitacional (core housing / traditional housing) has been ‘abandoned’ and he asks for the support of the Council of Santa Cruz in the allocation of the status of protected landscape.

Accounts of CMF in Belém. Miguel Albuquerque, the Mayor of Funchal, is back in Lisbon to try to keep, as stipulated in the 2010 State Budget, the transfer of 5% of IRS to the councils in Madeira. He is only negotiating for 2010 although in 2009, Funchal Council lost 5 million Euros, a case that is to be heard in the Administrative Court. In 2010, the amount that should be transferred from Portugal to Funchal is 500,000 Euros per month. He will meet parliamentary groups and Cavaco Silva (President of Portugal) next week. After last February, the funds were continued to be transferred to the councils on the Continent but not to those in Madeira and the Azores, despite negotiations.


Folklore and Ethnography Group of Boa Nova to go to Canada. A trip to Canada, from the 4 – 19 August, for the VII European Week of Folklore. There will also be Russian, Italian and possibly Spanish and Indian groups taking part. Grupo de Folclore e Etnográfico da Boa Nova will participate in the Festas de Nossa Senhora do Monte in August for the Madeiran community in Toronto and Montreal.

Over a thousand students visit the Centro das Artes in 2009. To motivate the younger generation to cultural knowledge is a challenge increasingly important given the competition of various means of entertainment. This Arts Centre in Calheta opened its doors to schoolchildren last year with good results. Last year, there were 40 visits involving more than 1,000 students. The children are exposed to various different types of art, for example dance, music, plays, sculpture and visual arts.



Woman who threatened to camp had rejected help. Update of report on 12 February. The woman who last week threatened to camp in front of the Town Hall if her housing situation was not resolved, had lived outside Funchal and refused to comply with the stipulations of the Homeless Shelter. She had refused to take part in an integration project, a necessity as the Night Shelter is only for people in transition. This 42 year old woman rejected everything that was proposed by the Housing Department of Funchal. She refused a room to rent, wanting a house and also rejected computer courses and others. Social Security provided medication which she would not take. Since Tuesday, she has left the shelter after spending the weekend with friends.


Scottish tourists lost in the levada das Babosas. A Scottish couple, aged 72 and 74, ignored the Civil Protection warnings to avoid walks in the serras in the bad weather. They ventured on the vereda between Babosas and Curral dos Romeiros, became lost and requested aid. They made a small fire to help the Fire Department locate them and they were accompanied to the exit at Bom Sucesso then taken to their hotel. This operation took nearly four hours.

Strong gusts felt in São Jorge and Areeiro had the most rain. Between 9 am on February 17th to 17.00 yesterday, the Meteorology Observatory of Funchal recorded a gust of wind of 159.1 km/h in São Jorge. In Caniçal, another record of 155.1 km/h and 100.8 km/h in Aeeiro. The stations at Areeiro and Calheta/Ponta do Pargo registered the most rain falling in 10 minutes. The highest amount was 6.2 mm at 08.50 yesterday. For total rainfall, the station at Areeiro registered 128.2 mm. Temperature ranged from a minimum of 1.5 degrees Celsius at Areeiro at 09.40 to a maximum of 18.7 degrees in Funchal at 15.30.

More later maybe … especially if someone would be kind enough to contribute something …

If you can, please contribute something Madeira related. A funny story or good or bad experience, a news item, or a story from a Madeira newspaper, a photo or video, a teaser, news of a bargain flight or item in a supermarket. Please help keep this blog going … without user contributions it won’t survive. Please don’t send in automatic translations (like Google translator) without checking them through and correcting them first, thanks.

You can email [email protected] with any large contributions and photos / videos.


Please use the comments here for general chit-chat, or feel free to ask any questions … someone usually has an answer.

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Please send any topical or Madeira related photos or videos to Der at [email protected] to appear on this blog. Photos may take a while to appear, depending on the number waiting. Please don’t send copyrighted material.

The headline news & other snippets reviewed here on the blog are mainly from the Diário de Notícias of Madeira, although news from any source is used and welcome.

The blogs in the ‘uncategorised’ category come from the old madeira4u blog.


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63 thoughts on “Madeira Classical Orchestra plays tonight ; New Toyota dealership ; Cost of living hurting”

  1. The rain looks absolutely terrible again on the Funchal webcams this morning. With any luck there’ll be no more left by the time I’m there next weekend… I can stay at home for that!

    I don’t know what I was watching when I described the lizards as eating sugar… one of them is actually being encouraged to lick yoghurt from a spoon, which it does with it’s long lizardy tongue (what other kind would it have, Becky?). The owner of the spoon then goes on to eat the remainder. Urgh. Yoghurt with added lizard spit.

  2. My brother should have landed at Funchal from Gatwick at 11.20am. Now in Tenerife after 2 failed landings on Porto Santo. Apparently many passengers sick and one passed out. Hope all blog readers in Madeira are ok and hope it clears before we come out next week!! Is it true that it is not possible to get from Funchal to Calheta due to rock falls, mud slides etc.? I understand Madalena do Mar is impassable due to flooding.Any info greatfully received although they won’t have that problem until they actually get on the island!!

  3. Passengers on easyjet flight from Gatwick to Madeira this am are being put in hotel on Tenerife and have to be at airport at 7am tomorrow to try again! All web cams on Madeira seem to be off. Friends in Gaula said on phone that neighbours car got washed away. half meter of water running down road.

  4. Why is it that visitors to Madeira think they know better than the authorities when it comes to walking the levadas? I have lost count of the times that I have warned people of the dangers as well as the benefits , have even been accused of trying to sell tours on the back of fear!! Excuses like . we don’t like walking in groups, we walk evey weekend in England are comonplace, many go without torches, mobiles etc. Pleased that this couple are OK but I hope that they have learned they were wrong, no doubt the cost of the rescue would even things out a bit.

  5. Well its the worst storm I think I have experienced – having just watched the Madeira News on TV it seems to have been horrendous, down town, Riberia Brava, the river beds which trickle along are now in full flood and over-flowing – if you can imagine that. We were without electricity for three plus hours this morning at the moment it is working, we should not complain as we managed egg and chips!!! and shopping will wait .. good time to clean out the freezer! Trying to cheer people up and not be facetious – all seems quiet here not sure there are many ars on the road.

  6. Hope everybody affected by the weather is OK.

    Is it a hurricane that has hit the island or some kind of monsoon?

    Judging by the location of Sue and Karen amd Pete’s comments the storm is island wide.

    Can’t imagine the river at Riberia Brave being overwhelmed.

  7. Posted a link earlier (awaiting moderation) which includes video footage of the bad rains in Funchal today… wow, looks terrible. Hope the mention of 7 deaths isn’t true, can’t find anything about that on Diario at the moment, but here’s a quick translation of what is on there:

    “Rivers overflow and launch the panic in various parts of the island – Downtown Funchal is a swamp.
    The rivers of Joao Gomes and Santa Luzia overflowed and are launching a blanket of mud and debris throughout the downtown Funchal. The size of the storm is certainly greater than the last big storm.

    During the morning we saw people running in the streets in panic due to the torrents that flooded the downtown, on Rua 31 de Janeiro and Rua do Anadia.

    There are reports of cars that were swept away by rivers. Firefighters have their hands full. The roar of the stream hitting the rocks of the river makes a terrifying echo. There are several roads closed with dirt and mud about two feet high.

    The Ribeira de João Gomes overflowed in several places. A Rua Visconde Anadia and Brigadeiro Oudinot were dominated by the fury of water that is disposed inside the shopping center and parking.

    The Ribeira de Santo António also caused extensive damage. There are reports of garages and cars with people who were swept away by torrents.

    DIARIO has teams in various entry points, retained in some places due to landslides and heavy flooding.

    The area south of the island of Madeira is the most affected by heavy rains that are falling almost continuously in the archipelago. The region is on red alert.

  8. Terrible terrible terrible, 9 confirmed dead i believe, have been stuck for hours on motorway, the roads are just rivers everywhere is flooded , Funchal is terrible Anadia and dolce Vita flooded, the rivers have burst there banks, thie will go down as probable the worst storm ever, i have never seen so much water running down from everywhere , the motorway was closed by Gaula porto novo coming towards Funchal cause of a huge landslide , they managed to clear a lane and i have a video to upload soon. RB was evacuated i think, the river burst its banks, Santa cruz as well very bad. Not sure what its like towards the west , but i guess landslides everywhere.

    The news is very frightening to watch.

  9. 25 comfirmed dead , i have posted a link but not sure if Der has internet, and RB is very bad , if you put RTP Madeira into google and click the second link down starting ww1. you may see a video , i cant be sure as its not loading for me but net is very poor , and mobile networks still playing up.

  10. This is so terrible. The BBC website has breaking news with a confirmed number of 25 dead. I hope you’re all coping out there, it’s difficult to make contact when the internet and mobiles seem to be down. Wishing you well too.

  11. Dear All

    My thoughts are with you all on the blog, hope everyone on the blog is safe.

    Such a shock to see well loved places in such a state.

    Lets hope the sun starts to shine soon and the clear up can begin

  12. This time last year my wife was in Madeira (she is from Santana) and was worriedly phoning me in Essex because the flooding was bad here. Now I am waiting for her to come home from work to get her to phone her parents to check that they are OK over there. Watching the news just now and my sons are asking if granny and granda are safe in Santana.

  13. I have been looking at RTP and Diario websites. It appears north coast is not so bad as south. Found a short list of roads closed and only one mentioned on north coast was Boaventura area. On south side road closed from Ponta do Sol to Madalena do Mar. Encumeada closed. Also Poiso to Pico Ariero.

  14. Could you please post a link to a charitable organisation in Madeira, so I can send them a contribution? People are losing their houses and businesses, cars are swilling around in the water. Some buildings are bound to be vulnerable to structural damage. And they are saying 32 dead, many others injured.

    It just occurred to me that the irrigation systems up in the hills have probably been all washed out.

    I heard there is a cruise liner in the harbour. Maybe they are taking on refugees.

  15. BBC posted photo just 10 minutes ago of an inflatable dingy in Funchal rescuing people outside a Pingo supermarket.

    The store appears to be under what could be 10 feet of water, but worryingly there is a sign pointing downwards to an underground car park

    I hate to think there are cars and people submerged down there.

    Please advise as soon as accurate facts are known.

    The Portuguese government has declared a state of emergency so I read.

    There is more rsinstorm on the way and the BBC shewed the huge cloud base which dumped all that water.

    More clouds like that out in the Atlantic rolling Madeira’s way.

  16. I have just seen BBC news and now read the comments on the blog. This is such a horrendous thing to happen to such a beautiful little island and its inhabitants. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you. We pray for the families of the dead as well as your safety and wellbeing and hope that there will be no more fatalities.
    We are deeply saddened and shocked.

  17. Here in Garajau we are relatively calm, only suffering from electrical outages, but we have been warned about tomorrow, Have phoned friends on the Island and all are well – a couple of Poncha’s should help to sleep better – anything further will add in the morning, otherwise seep well all and keep fingers crossed – hope Der is OK in RB and Angie in Arco de Caleheta – she was going to UK so hope that is where she is as the phone is not workng. Thanks for all the goog wishes from friends in UK.

  18. Hi , the BBC have 6 great photos, yes Martin this is the entrance to pingo doce at Anadia shopping centre in the photo you see, i guess cars are flooded in the carpark , but im sure most people would have got out before the water got to deep.

    I cant get in touch with anyone the west of Funchal hope your all ok , DER ANGIE, SAM ELAINE from tabua text me to say she is totally cut off and 2 houses nearby had collapsed, but i cant text back Elaine, TMN is still down.

    Canico de Baixo the promanade you cant even walk along, it is full of Canes such a shocking site , i will upload photos and place them on my filckr account later tomorrow, which you can access from my website, or search Tobi in Madeira on Flickr

  19. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in Madeira. Hopefully we will be able to contribute to any relief agency that has been set up. We have a villa in Estreito da Calheta, I’m not worried too much about that as it’s insured, just hope all our UK and Portuguese friends are ok.

  20. Would you believe the sun is shining this morning hope it lasts so the clean-up can continue, there was a couple of storms around six this morning but they seem to have passed. Still no news from Der and no blog this morning, so hope it is just a communications problem.

  21. Ribeira Brava is very bad. A friend of ours told me that the church had 2 mtrs of water on the court in front of it. He had to leave his car in Tabua and walk and hike to Ponta do Sol. His mobile was always working.

  22. I don’t know any charity which will help, but perhaps if you contact Joy (Hon.British Consulate) she should be able to advise. Honorary British Consul: Joy Menezes
    Rua da Alfandega, 10, 3C
    9000-059 Funchal

    Tel: +351 291 212 860
    Fax: +351 291 212 869
    Email: [email protected]

    Have just heard that UK is sending a planeload of help, engineers etc.
    Hope Der and all in West OK, I think contaminated water along with communications problems will be with us for some time.

  23. We have water in Garajau not that it helps you much.
    Saw the Church in RB on the Madeira News yesterday it looked about one metre at that time, but that means it probably affected the Post Office also. Have emailed a couple of friends that side of the Island this morning, no reply yet, so I am certain it is a communications problem.

  24. Any news on how Calheta has been affected, I’m unable to contact an elderly couple living in Calheta Plaza in Estrela opposite the Artes Centre so a litlle worried that they are OK

  25. I have just spoken to friends in Gaula who say that TMN phones are not working, so if they have one of those that could explain it, also a lot of land lines are down on that side of the Island. If I hear anything more positive in the news at 1300 will add another note.

  26. We have spoken to a friend in Estreito da Calheta. That area seems to be doing better than Funchal and RB. The problems seem to be mostly in areas where rivers have been much canalised and have no room. We hav found out the Voda network is up, others like TMN are still not working. No electricity and landlines in the West so no internet just yet
    have found a map where floods are located on Twitter, is on my blog now. The Blog is in Dutch but Google Translation available. Map comments are in Portuguese

  27. My brother has landed at Madeira and is currently trying to drive from airport to our house between Arco da Calheta and Calheta. Locals at airport told him that Via Rapida ok to Rib Brava but a bridge down at Rib Brava. Road was closed between Ponta do Sol and Madalena. Suggested he went through tunnel to Sao Vicente and over Paul da Serra to get back to Loreto near our house. I cannot contact many friends on landline, email or mobiles and have also heard ,as already said, that TMN is not working. We have spoken many times about the way the rivers have been built over and around in Sao Vicente and Ribeira Brava for example. The rivers were so much wider and while there was only ever a trickle in them they must have developed that wide originally because of large quantities of water. Hope all blog readers are safe and well.

  28. Hi All , we have water in Canico de Baixo so must be just a local problem, i Guess internet is out on the west of the island.

    I will have photos on Flickr later. TMN is working now so hope it is for everyone.

  29. We contacted our family late last night when landlines were re-connected. Their view was that a lot of the problems were caused by debris in the rivers forming blockages at bridges. This then formed dams which spilled over and put huge pressures on the bridges themselves. Radio 2 news recently stated that there were 38 confirmed fatalities.

  30. Tiscali Internet down for 2 hours here in England. Must have gone wrong in sympathy!

    BBC midday news reports some Brits in hospital.
    Portuguese army on its way from mainland
    Socrates says rebuild money will be no problem
    British person interviewed said that the Mercado in Funchal was inundated yesterday entire ground floor up to first and huge rocks in the streets around.
    I think he meant main road.
    Ajuda roundabout with the Angel statue looked pretty rough.

  31. From Diario:

    “Death toll rises to 40
    Authorities concede that the death toll could still increase
    Date: 21/02/2010

    The death toll rose to 40. According to the information provided on Sunday morning by the regional authorities the number of casualties from bad weather may be higher given the existence of isolated sites, including the site of Sítio das Furnas, Pomar da Serra, Espigão and Curral das Freiras

    It also raises the question whether there might be people trapped in car parks. In downtown Funchal there are several parks completely flooded, where authorities have failed to access.

    Crews are expected to arrive from the mainland to assist in searching for people.

    This morning the mayor Miguel Albuquerque appealed for people not to travel in the mountainous areas due to the risk of landslides.”

  32. Please give Der chance to get back on line. Photos can wait as I am sure his mail box will be fill. Been into Funchal and it bad in town. We do have sun at least and hope rest bit for repairs which will take long time life to get back to normal.

  33. From RTE news:

    Portugal rushes aid to storm-hit Madeira
    Sunday, 21 February 2010 12:25

    The Portuguese government has sent emergency aid to Madeira after rainstorms killed at least 40 people on the Atlantic island. The death toll is expected to rise as rescue workers are searching for more bodies under debris.

    Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates has expressed his shock at the disaster and promised support for the islanders. Madeira is the main island of a Portuguese archipelago of the same name in the Atlantic Ocean, off the north-west coast of Africa.

    Floods swept away cars and tore down houses as the storm hit early yesterday. Roads were blocked by fallen trees as winds exceeded 100km/ph and some bridges also collapsed. Some phone lines have been disabled forcing the emergency services to appeal over local radio stations for off-duty doctors and nurses to report for duty.

    Madeira’s regional president Alberto Joao Jardim has appealed for emergency aid from the European Union.

    The Portuguese naval frigate Corte-Real set off from Lisbon for Madeira yesterday with helicopters, a medical team and relief supplies. Two helicopters and two C-130 Hercules transport aircraft are also on their way to the island.

    A rescue team of 56 police and 36 firefighters left Lisbon for the island’s capital Funchal this morning. ‘We are studying the possibility of declaring a state of emergency and then seeking help from the European Union,’ Interior Minister Rui Pereira said.

    Football star Cristiano Ronaldo, who was born in Madeira, has said he has been left incredulous and shocked by the disaster and promised help for relief efforts.

    ‘It is a huge catastrophe, a tragedy without precedent,’ said the world’s most expensive footballer, who was born in a poor district of the capital Funchal.

    He said: ‘No-one can remain indifferent to a calamity of such huge proportions, least of all me who was born and grew up in Madeira, an island which clearly I think about a lot.

    ‘It is for this reason that I want to express my availability to help the organisations and official entities, in the limit of what is possible, to alleviate and overcome the consequences of this great devastation.’

  34. From Diario:

    Funchal firefighters have so far gathered 17 corpses, but this number could rise because many houses and cars are buried and car traffic in the city center continues to be impossible, said the mayor.

    Speaking to news agency Lusa, Miguel Alburquerque, assured that “currently all staff are on the street, all construction companies in Madeira are working on removing debris and inert on all fronts and rivers in the city center” .

    The president stressed that “all personnel are mobilized in support of the uplands of the city, especially Sao Antonio and Monte.”

  35. My brother has just arrived at our house near Loreto, just outside Arco da Calheta. It took 5 hours by car from airport to house. Usually takes about 50 minutes. They had to go up on the old road just before Ribeira Brava, Sao Joao , I think. Apparently quite bad in Ponta do Sol area with mud and rocks piled up on a roundabout , not the one with the fountain by the shopping centre, but the next one at the end of the tunnel below Tabua I think. Madalena sea front is passable and not too bad.

  36. Has anyone heard from Der? This is a testament to his good work keeping the blog going all this time. It is comforting to be able to get local reeports on the situation. We hope that the worst is over and that the people of Madeira will find the strength to deal with this sad circumstance.

  37. Hi Martin if you google Diario da Noticias when the site comes up the google toolbar should be above it saying translate. It works for me. The main story is about the Nuns Valley, It says it remains isolated, without access and communication indicating the existence of fatalities not yet accounted for. That is the direct Google translation. Hope this helps.

  38. My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Madeira – it is such a beautiful island.
    Any updates?
    There aren’t many reports on the BBC or Sky News channels in England anymore; however for the people in Madeira, we know it will take a long time for life to get back to normal.
    I came across this on the internet:

    Please consider supporting the people of Madeira who have suffered with
    landslide, flooding, and loss after the unpresidented storm that hit
    the island this weekend.

    Donations can be made through the following links: Portuguesa

  39. hello amigos da madeira nos aquin ficamos muitos triste comas noticias da nossa ilha da madeira para vos un grande abraco de tanta amor para todos danossa maderia com unagrande coragen na vossa vida desta vossa amiga gloria e family para todos da maderia efreguesia do jardin da serra camara de lobos e para os meus amigos do funchal e familia da gloria envio uma paz de amor para todos adeus

  40. i`m so lost,my brother still missing ,no one seen him he lives in funchal his name is jaime pestana santos 45 years old,all the family hava no news from him,if any one knows him or seen him in news papers plz emails us


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