Today’s photo – from Der … Another of the Ribeira Brava, and this was some hours after the flood subsided. I have had other photos sent in, many thanks, but with so many emails to get through, it will take me a while to get settled again. Especially if my internet connection continues to have problems.
Thanks folks for the enquiries about my welfare, I am fine. No internet or phone connections put me out of action, with just a half hour access on Sunday, but I am safe and dry. I am just seeing this afternoon for the first time TV coverage of the catastrophe, so while I have seen so much locally, I guess I am the least well informed visually as far as Madeira as a whole goes.
I have nearly 600 emails to get through, I will have to delete most of it unread, so sorry about that if you have contacted me, but I can’t see any other option. I will post something more as soon as I can, sometime tomorrow hopefully, but please continue to use the blog comments to communicate and leave news for now. Many thanks to those who have provided such information over the last few days.
The only news I have had the last 4+ days has come from the radio and locals, and I have a head crammed with information, far too much to post here, and most of it now out of date. Here are a few of the more important points :
This is from news through to this morning, some of it is for sure a bit old now. Check before you act on anything please.
1. Charities / helping : CARITAS started a new relief charity helpline. Contact details and bank account are :
Bank – Banif – Account – 1626371377
IBAN – 003800011626371377113
Telephone: +351 291743331
E-mail: [email protected]
2. 42 were confirmed dead, but that was reduced again to 39 in a report today after an actual body count, but there is talk of another body found in Funchal today. There were over 70 hospitalised yesterday, and around 600 people made homeless, and talk of a new neighbourhood being built to rehome them. There are still people categorised as "missing", or unaccounted for, but the lack of communications prevents any firm confirmation of the situation although the original estimates have been reducing dramatically and today’s Diário says it is now just 18.
3. Only Vodafone and Optimus mobile networks were working. TMN started coming back Sunday night, but not for everyone in one go. Landlines were / are also down. CaboTV / Zon has also been out of service, but is coming back gradually. There may be more disruptions in communications.
4. People are repeatedly being asked not to go into the affected areas ‘sightseeing’ … they are hindering clean up operations and endangering themselves and others. Also we are asked not to park cars in areas which need to be cleaned up.
5. Most schools have now reopened outside of Funchal and Ribeira Brava, some others with no water also remain closed.
6. Funchal has a few limited bus services up and running. Details may be on the Horários website. Just a few buses from Rodoeste are running, and they seem to be all on the Funchal route.
7. Several thousand families had / have no electricity, and around 30,000 have no water (no recent update on numbers unfortunately). The assessment of the water situation was still being undertaken, but the original opinion of the man responsible for water was that we are looking at a few days to return to normal supplies. Some water provided after reconnection may not be drinkable initially.
8. A survey is being carried out in Funchal harbour etc. to evaluate the amount of material deposited in the sea, carried by the flood water, to ensure that the water is still deep enough for shipping.
Sunday’s Diário de Notícias front page looked like this. You don’t need me to translate.
Monday’s front page : "Recovery and fear"
Tuesday’s front page : "Rumours concern".
I suppose it is inevitable that the nervousness of a population will start rumours, even dangerous rumours. In Ribeira Brava town on Monday, there was a bit of normality returning at around 11 am, with plenty of people milling around and the clean up operation in full swing. Half an hour later the town was pretty much emptied, and just about all the shops and bars had closed again, and the exit road on the Campanário road was blocked with a mass of traffic and people trying to evacuate. The rumour was that a mountainside was about to collapse at the back of town. People were panicking, some were crying, and nearly everyone was phoning a relative and spreading the rumour. I had the radio on at the time and the president of Ribeira Brava was clear in the message that that was no danger in the town, and that people should stay at home, but people were unaware or continued to evacuate anyway.
There was also, according to the radio, a rumour about evacuating Funchal. Again rubbish. There should be information on the official tourism website in various languages, and there is also a Twitter page updated with government communications (it was read out too quickly on the radio for me to write down, but if someone can find it and it has English translations, please post it in the comments).
Today’s front page : "2 years to rebuild".
Without TV or internet access I really had no real idea, in a visual sense, what was going on elsewhere on the island. Sunday night I managed to borrow a Diário de Notícias, and a Jornal da Madeira, and I was horrified at some of the pictures I saw of the floods in full flow and the damage caused in Funchal. Of course that was pretty much it at that stage … Funchal. I have heard stories about other parts of the South coast of Madeira, and they sound equally horrific, but the communication breakdown is preventing a full picture, and what I have been hearing may be vastly distorted by the rumour mill.
The President of the Republic, Cavaco Silva, is visiting Madeira this afternoon.
Depression may bring heavy rain on Friday – One should keep a look out for the weather forecast over the next few hours. "More intense rainfall will occur in the sea northwest of Madeira," said meteorologist Paula Leitão. Strong winds and precipitation are likely as the depression passes, but nothing like that experienced on Saturday.
More later maybe … especially if someone would be kind enough to contribute something … FOR NOW PLEASE PUT ANY IMPORTANT NEWS IN THE BLOG COMMENTS, AND IF AND WHEN I GET INTERNET ACCESS I WILL MOVE IT. PLEASE DON’T EMAIL ME ANYTHING IMPORTANT FOR NOW IN CASE I DON’T HAVE INTERNET ACCESS.
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.
If you post a comment and are not registered on this site (free), your comment will be moderated, so please do not waste time with spam postings. If you register, your comment will be posted automatically. If you register, your email address will not be passed to any other party … promise!
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.
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