Tourism worries ; Ronaldo to play in fund raiser ; Euro support fund ; More weather concerns

Dramatic photo from Tom … well you know what I mean : "East river going to mercados … all from that photo point has been destroyed".

madeira news blog 1002 tom floods funchal february 2010 cross section of rua de pina

Many thanks to Paul for sending these in : 

Viva Madeira 2! – Tourists urged not to cancel holidays.

The impact will be quick to pass and Madeira will soon recover and return to normal hopefully within days.

Source of photograph

…says Michael Blandy, chairman of the Blandy group, which has five hotels on the island and caters for the majority of British visitors to Madeira.

The Daily Telegraph article continues:

Michael Blandy said many people had been put off coming to Madeira but predicted that the impact would be quick to pass and that Madeira would soon recover and return to normal "hopefully within days.

"In reality it is a very small area that has been affected and the authorities are working incredibly hard to restore the infrastructure and ensure a return to normality."

"Tourism chiefs have urged holidaymakers not to abandon Madeira as a tourist destination following flash floods and mudslides at the weekend that left at 42 dead and hundreds homeless" Link to The Daily Telegraph article

Madeira native Ronaldo pays his own tribute after scoring for Real on Sunday.

(CNN) — Cristiano Ronaldo is to play in a special benefit match for the victims of the Madeira floods and mudslides which have claimed the lives of at least 42 people. The world’s most expensive player has made himself available for a game between Portuguese champions Porto and a joint team from Madeira-based clubs Nacional and Marítimo.

No date has yet been set for the match, but Ronaldo has said he will help in "whatever possible way" after the tragic events of the weekend. Porto coach Jesualdo Ferreira added: "Porto want to express their condolences for all that has happened and, as a club, do everything necessary to help Madeira."

Real Madrid forward Ronaldo was born and grew up in Madeira and has a special football center named after him, which is next to the Nacional stadium. The 24-year-old paid his own tribute after scoring the first goal in Real’s 6-2 rout of Villarreal on Sunday, lifting his shirt to reveal a t-shirt bearing the name "Madeira" on the chest

"Nobody can be indifferent to such a tragedy, especially me," Ronaldo told the official Real Madrid Web site, "I was born and raised on the island. It’s given me so much. This is why I want to make myself available to help in whatever possible way.

"I would like to help official bodies and organizations to minimize the effects of this great tragedy and to get over them as soon as possible." Former World Player of the Year Ronaldo moved to Real Madrid from Manchester United in the summer for a record $120 million fee. CNN LINK

Don’t forget that there are heavy rains forecasted for today. The intensity is not comparable to that of Saturday, but with just 6 days between the two precipitations, there could be effects beyond the normal because everything is still so wet. There is also a separate warning for strong winds in Funchal and the high zones. This is from the BBC … many thanks to Pete for the link.

More heavy rain is forecast for Madeira later in the week, following the devastating floods on Saturday.

The island lies directly in the path of more storms developing in the topical Atlantic. The first of the storms is forecast to hit on Wednesday with a further more intense storm on Friday. With the clean up operation underway, the new storms are unwelcome news, raising the possibility of further destruction. As the funerals are held for the victims of the floods it is feared the death toll could reach 70. The winter months are normally the wettest part of the year in Madeira, but this winter has seen a succession of low pressures pass over the island. After hitting Madeira, the storms will then head northeast bringing disruptive weather to the Portuguese mainland and Spain. Nina Ridge explains why Madeira is seeing a series of storms.

And finally, another link from Paul …

European Parliament emergency debate on Madeira’s floods: 24 February 2010

European Commissioner Günther Oettinger confirmed that money from the EU’s solidarity fund was already being directed to the Portuguese island. Link to video of the whole or most of the debate:


Today’s news headlines from the front page of the Diário de Notícias :

Today’s main news headline : Total damage amounting to €1.3 billion – Early calculations show astronomical budgetary needs that the Regional Government takes to Brussels today.

Insurers already paid the downtown traders.

Via rápidas and expressos are safe.

Some accesses reopen today – the road network of Funchal, weakened, recovers a little. See everything on the map. Traffic returns to within a few blocks from the centre of Funchal on Friday. Funchal Council president Miguel Albuquerque urges caution in relation to the weather. Movement is restored Friday in five streets around the city centre. In the daily update issued by Funchal Council on Thursday, Miguel Alburquerque announced that the traffic is returning this afternoon to various parts of the city. Parque do Campo da Barca also reopens Friday. With the forecasts of wind and rain for Friday and Saturday, Alburquerque once again reaffirmed that the authorities are prepared for any event, and stressed that there is no reason for panic or fear, but caution is necessary. The president warned people to be careful with their cars alongside water courses, in areas where there are land slides, and areas where there are trees at risk of falling. SEE MAP

Timor gives thousands to Madeira – Díli ignores the discourtesy and repays the friendship shown by the Madeiran people to the East Timorese cause in 1999. When East Timor was the stage of destruction and desperate for help, Madeira didn’t send a single cêntimo. The response has come regardless, with a donation of $750,000 (€556,000), from the government of the country, to help the victims of the catastrophe. The donation has been made as an act of ‘solidarity and support towards the people and authorities’ of Madeira, after the president of East Timor had sent a message of condolences to his Portuguese counterpart. In 1999, whilst on holiday in Porto Santo, Madeira’s President Alberto João Jardim guaranteed that he would not give "a cêntimo" for East Timor, causing harsh reactions throughout the country. "The popular philosophy taught me that each one should govern itself", said the president of the Regional Government on 29 August 1999. Later, after much controversy, in the Region and on the Continent, the statement was softened, albeit symbolically. Jardim then said he was never against helping the Timorese people, but only that Madeira could not spare the money to give any support. So Uncle Bertie’s blunders go back many years, crossing international boundaries, and upsetting innocent people in very difficult positions through no fault of their own. At least East Timor had the common sense to recognise that the words of one absolute idiot were not the words of a decent and generous people, and thank goodness for that, as that is a sizable and much needed donation to help the recovery of our island … and it comes from one of the poorest countries in the world.

List of the 18 missing people – The number of people going missing in the storm reduced. The number of dead remains at 42.

Government rejects assistance offered by the Azores – They had 9 firemen and equipment ready to load on board to send over here. Santo Costa dismissed the offer, despite of having zones in need of help. The article itself then refers to 12 firemen and a coordinator-inspector, coming from the brigades in Ponta Delgada, Ribeira Grande, and São Miguel, of rescue specialists in areas of difficult access. There is an agreement between the two archipelagos and the Canary Islands to send mutual support in the event of catastrophes. The Azores team was assembled, equipped, and ready to go last Saturday, but on Sunday it was disbanded after those responsible for civil protection on Madeira (Santos Costa and Francisco Ramos Jardim) did not consider the help necessary. Politics over people is seems. Recent friction over the Regional Finance Law, and political differences in government colours are no doubt the underlying factors in my opinion. It is absolutely incredible that when some outlying areas have still not received much needed help, that a couple of idiot politicians could turn their backs on such an offer that had been prepared especially for this purpose, and set up through funding by the European Union.

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. 

‘Positive news’ after the flood from Paul, including statistics from The Regional Government of Madeira. Many thanks Paul. Der

Visit of European Commissioner Mr. Johannes Hahn

The European Commissioner Mr. Johannes Hahn will visit the Autonomous Region of Madeira on the 6th and 7th of March to get acquainted with the finance needs to restore Madeira Island.

Show called “A flower to Madeira”

On the 28th of February a show will be organised called “A flower for Madeira”, organized by SIC (private Portuguese television channel) and “Coliseu dos Recreios”, with the patronage of His Excellency the President of Portuguese Republic and the participation of various Portuguese artists, in order to raise funds for Madeira victims.

Museums are reopened.

Next Sunday. Madeira will have the 1st Cruise Ship calling at the harbour of Funchal with 4.500 tourists.

Alternative excursions for tourists: local tourists operators are launching alternative excursions in Madeira Island.

Schools will be reopened Saturday ? and next Monday.

Public services are operating with reduced services and will be normalized soon.

Public transportation, in Funchal, is available with 32 routes.


Deaths estimated: 40

Wounded: 18 people are still in the Hospital.

Missing People: 18

Dislodgments: 563 people, 170 families are reallocated in temporary shelters.

Water Supply : In Ponta do Sol and Ribeira Brava, especially in Serra D’Água and Meia Légua the situation will be restored as soon as possible.

Electricity : Electricity is being established all over the Island, with the exception in small areas.

Communications : Mobile phone connections and fixed communications network are operating in the entire Island.

Solidarity : We inform that there is an official fund which is BANIF – International Bank of Funchal with the IBAN PT 50003800011986711677151 and SWIFT CODE BNLFPTPL.


Do consider only the information given by the Regional Government.

Official information can be followed on : TWITTER     MADEIRA ISLANDS TRAVEL

New updates are available on the Government’s official tourism website HERE

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.


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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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10 thoughts on “Tourism worries ; Ronaldo to play in fund raiser ; Euro support fund ; More weather concerns”

  1. Heading out to Funchal from Gatwick at lunchtime… slightly worried about the rain and strong wind forecast for today as I don’t really fancy a stop-off in Tenerife, but have slightly more confidence in a TAP pilot being able to cope with a potentially rough landing than an easyjet one (fingers crossed!) The only part of the trip I’ve cancelled is the hire car. I was going to spend the weekend travelling around more of Madeira, but I admit with not enough knowledge of closed roads or potentially dangerous roads, it didn’t appeal. So I am going to give my money to the taxi drivers instead (who have probably had a bad time with all the rain over the last few months) and I’ll put as much money as I can into the local economy! Oh dear, that means I’m going to have to eat a lot of delicious food and buy more Madeira and mel and bolo do mel and… (repeat to fade)

    Amazing photos from everyone by the way… I still find it hard to believe that one freakish day in February could have wreaked such havoc. But very impressed with the speed of clean-up so far. Is it just that I haven’t read the right articles or has Jardim been rather quiet?

  2. Date: 25/02/2010 Diario:

    The President of the Regional Civil Protection, Louis Neri, said today the agency Lusa that “so far (14:30) in any parking garages in Funchal, no corpses have been found .”

    He added that “the work of emptying the water in the commercial center of the Curia are completed” and also in the basement of the malls, Marina Shopping, Pelourinho and Oudinot.

    The work of water extraction is still ongoing in the car parks of the Dolce Vita, the Curia and the Madeira Atrium Medical Center.

    This position is contrary to initial suspicions of the authorities pointing to the existence of dead in the parking lot of Anadia Shopping.

    In search operations of the floor -2 park underground Anadia Shopping three cars were found. Sniffer dogs were sent to the GNR who have been making a final search.

    According to the calculations of the Civil Protection agency, it is estimated that the machine has withdrawn more than 60 million liters of water from the interior of the parking areas.

  3. Number of missing reduced to 18
    List published by the Government constantly updated
    Date: 25/02/2010

    Decreases from 29 to 18 in the number of people missing following the storm last Saturday.

    The list disclosed by the Presidency of the Government is constantly updated.

    The first published list contained 11 people, including a British couple who was staying in a hotel in northern Cyprus.

    The Chair of the Regional Government announced late on Thursday the names of people who are missing following the storm last Saturday.

    Online are advertised names and locations according to data provided by prosecutors. The government wants people on this list to contact their families or call the 92 579 08 07

  4. Losses amounting to over one billion euros
    “I fear that we need a new budget to replace it all”
    Date: 25/02/2010

    The storm on Saturday caused damage in Madeira amounting to over one billion euros, Alberto João Jardim, the president of the Regional Government, said today, with the number of dead at 41.

    Speaking to the program ‘Big Interview’, the RTP1, Alberto João Jardim said that the damage is lurking “upwards of a thousand million, stressing that number still awaits the collection of data from some municipalities.

    today the Government committed itself in a press conference, that it would make the total damage public on Friday.
    According to the president of the Regional Government, the value of losses only in Funchal and Ribeira Brava, the municipalities most affected by the storm, is equal to the budget of the entire archipelago.

    “I fear that we need a new budget to replace all this [reconstruction of areas destroyed],” he said in an interview, adding, pending the implementation of the pledges of financial aid from abroad.

    The aid from the central government, led by José Sócrates (PS), Alberto João Jardim (PSD) has pointed out a meeting scheduled for next week, stressing that “the hatchet between Lisbon and Funchal is buried.”

    The number of dead now stands at 41.

    The president of the Regional Government of Madeira, expects an increase in the number of dead since there are 18 missing. “We have to expect bad news,” he predicted.

    Refuting any responsibility for what happened on Saturday, Alberto João Jardim said that the reconstruction of Madeira will be “made according to what has been done” since he took power.

    “What I did was not in the air but stands. You must ask the civil responsibilities and Salazar [King] Don Carlos”, he argued, ironically, when asked about the acceptance of responsibility.

    Commenting on the studies that criticize the rampant construction on beds of streams in the Madeira, the president of the Regional Government claimed that “the amount of debris” resulting from before time “has ignited the water” from rivers.

    Alberto João Jardim said that the water supply and electricity continues to need to be restored only in Ribeira Brava and Serra de Água and on Monday nearly all the schools in the region will be reopened .

  5. Teams try to prevent further damage
    ‘Holes’ in the streambed allow removal of materials deposited in covered segments of the streams of St. John and John Gomes
    Date: 25/02/2010

    Machines and men today continue the work of removal of material deposited on the lower reaches of rivers where there are still sections ‘blocked’, especially under the bridges and other spots.

    In front of the old Minas Gerais, the slab that ‘hides’ the stream bed of St. John was removed to allow access of the backhoes.

    Despite the work arising more or less continuously there is still much material to remove at St. John of old Minas Gerais and upstream of the mouth, places where there are several loaders and ‘shuttle’ trucks.

    A source connected with the work admitted that the removal of material from this segment of the river, following the cover between the former and Minas Gerais Avenida do Mar, raises serious problems for the teams even with the diversion of water from the tunnel to the roundabout Dolce Vita roundabout Avenida Sá Carneiro.

    Also on the shores of John Gomes were open ‘holes’ on the riverbed, next to the Farmers’ Market, exposing the rocks that are now emerging on the arm of the backhoe.

    The work, also recorded on video, is also designed to prevent further damage as the Meteorology Institute (IM) provides a worsening of the weather until Saturday.

    Today, Thursday, IM provides rain will increase in intensity from the late afternoon accompanied by strong wind in mountainous areas.

    On Friday there is a forecast reduction in the intensity of rainfall at the end of the morning, with wind gusts up to 70 miles an hour. In mountainous areas the wind has a strong to very strong forecast of up to 130 km / h.

    IM indicates that the increase in wind strength is associated with the approach of “depression phase of caving in” to the northwest of Madeira.

    For this reason, on Saturday, are expected to gust at 90, staying in mountain areas in the order of 130 km / h. IM provides the occurrence of rain and moderate swell with waves up to 6.5 meters.

  6. Traffic returns to within a few blocks from the center of Funchal Friday
    Albuquerque Urges Caution in relation to weather
    Date: 25/02/2010

    The MOT is restored Friday in five streets of the city center.

    In daily balance sheet issued by the Board of Municipal Funchal on this Thursday, Manmohan Singh announced that the traffic is back on the afternoon of Friday the node Pestana Júnior towards road Luso-Brasileira, Rua José Pedro de Ornelas, the penalty , Rua Elias Garcia, Cota 40 throughout its length and Pestana Júnior Rua, in both directions until Cota 40.

    Parque do Campo da Barca also reopened Friday.

    With the forecasts of wind and rain for Friday and Saturday, Manmohan Singh once again reaffirmed that the authorities are prepared for any event and stressed that there is no reason for panic or fear, but caution is necessary.

    The mayor urged people to be careful with cars along water courses, in areas where there where there is detachment of land and areas where there are trees at risk of falling

  7. The Greens’ critical of ‘masking’ of the real scale of the tragedy
    Ruling party’s national alert to areas that “remain at risk”
    Date: 25/02/2010

    The environmental party “The Greens” today criticized what it sees as the “masking of” the real scale of the tragedy by the Madeiran authorities, warning that there are “areas that remain at risk” in the event of “new rains.”

    “There is a cover-up or at least an attempt to minimize the impacts,” said Manuela Cunha, national leader of the ‘Greens’ at the end of a visit by a delegation to Madeira, ravaged by a storm on Saturday.

    For the leader of the ‘Greens’, there are still in the Madeira “areas that remain at risk” where there will be “further consequences if new rains come, and there is” massive homes at risk of collapse. ”

    By “hiding the real impacts of the disaster” the authorities also “has a little teaching”(teaches little) because “people have to live and take the risk” and “change behavior.”

    “Because there is no doubt that climate change will lead to situations like this irregularity of torrential rain in a moment’s notice, and will repeat it to increase,” he argued.

    Recalling the “fundamental errors in terms of planning, intervention in the streams and afforestation area covered with eucalyptus” – being the case “for years” by the Greens and that meant that the impact of rain was “much worse” – Manuela Cunha called for a change of policy.

    “We hope that the reconstruction is made sustainable by the teachings of what dramaticly has happened now. If we do not take lessons and do not acknowledge with humility the mistakes made, so far the reconstruction will be with the same mistakes and we’ll get the same results,” he noted.

  8. Thanks a lot Ellen.

    Uncle Bertie is very active at present Becky, and did the big interview with Judite Sousa last night, and gave her a hard time. I think we are missing Elaine’s daily news contribution, as that would have covered many of UB’s activities. Hope you are OK Elaine … no internet?

  9. Re Dolce Vita – latest news – they have a big problems with inside leaks and I am talking inside garage.

    All the dirt and water has been pumped out but new clean! water is rushing in.

    They suspect that there are cracks between the foundation wall and the west river, and/or broken water supply pipes are sending water inside garage. Anyway many fountains are there.

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