Local fire in hills of near by Funchal today (Friday 13th). …. pete

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More news from Sue :

Deadly fires rage on in Portugal

Portuguese fire fighters are continuing to battle dozens of forest fires that are sweeping through the country and have killed two of their colleagues.

50 fires are burning in central and northern parts of the country, according to the Reuters news agency.  The country’s civil defence agency says that 1,500 fire fighters have been mobilised to tackle the blazes.  Around 18,000 hectares (44,500 acres) of forests and bush land are now believed to have been affected.  Temperatures in some areas were forecast to reach 40C (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

Portugal’s only national park – the Peneda-Geres National Park in the north-west of the country – is one of the areas under threat.  Earlier this month the civil defence services registered 1,000 new fires over a single weekend, a record high for the year.

Trapped by flames

The fire fighting attempt has been hampered by strong winds that have whipped up the fires.  Portuguese civil protection officials say a female fire fighter died after being trapped by flames in Gondomar region.  In a separate incident, a fireman was killed after his vehicle fell into a burning ravine in the mountainous Sao Pedro do Sul area.

The current fires are the latest to have hit Portugal in recent years.  In 2006, six fire fighters were killed whilst tackling a wildfire in the centre of the country and in 2003, 18 people were killed in fires described as "the worst in living memory".

Debut articles (I think) from Martin :

Economic News : Law that cuts the amount of salt in bread enters into effect.

As of the 12th of August, Portuguese bread is required to contain less salt, with the entry into force of a law hailed by doctors and public health experts but that raises several doubts.
The new law sets a maximum of 1.4 grams of salt per 100 grams of bread and requires that labels on the packaging of pre-packaged foods provide information about the relative and absolute amount of salt in the container, as a percentage of the product and per serving or portion.
Bread manufacturers and bakers regret that the law leaves out products such as breakfast cereals and accuse the government of failing to give support to the sector.

POLICE “SLOPE TO THE WALL” A DOZEN SUSPECTS
A man was yesterday morning, arrested for drug possession in a police operation carried out by elements of the Police Station of Funchal and the Rapid Intervention Brigade (BIR), around the Farmers’ Market, an official source confirmed within the Public Security Police. In this action, targeting locations notorious for drug trafficking, a quantity of heroin was seized amounting to about 50 doses. The commissioner Adelino Pepper said. "It was a routine activity in the vicinity of the Farmers’ Market in Funchal city centre, near the Larguinho, the Fair and the Largo do Pelourinho, where about a dozen individuals were subjected to a search (slope to the wall?) as is usual in actions of this type. The person arrested in possession of the quantity of drugs, was caught by police in Largo do Pelourinho, which led to the Regional Command presenting the accused to the Court. During this activity conducted by the Regional Command other individuals were detained for purposes of identification. One was detained for possession of a portion of the drug in quantities for personal consumption, which called for his referral to the Commission for the Deterrence of Addiction.

MAJOR POLICE OPERATION AT THE PORT OF FUNCHAL.
The newspaper knows of at least one taxi driver being arrested for being in possession of a weapon and that the PSP booked offenders for lack of legal documentation. A major traffic enforcement action started early in the morning, with about 30 bods from the Public Security Police, the Department of Immigration and people representing Tourism, in the main streets of Funchal concentrating on the access roads to the port of Funchal.
The reporter followed the “Stop” operations that focused on dozens of taxis, coaches and 4wd vehicles promoting their activities, and some of the ‘time-share’ sales characters all geared up to cruise ship passengers .
From 6 o’clock in the morning, the Regional Command of the PSP launched their operation at the roundabouts of Sá Carneiro and Ribeiro Seco with their highly visible equipment and counted on the back-up of deterrents such as a car “tow-away” trailer and the uniformed members of the Rapid Intervention Brigade.
Tour guide’s transportation licences, business licenses, liability insurance certificates, including copies of their legal and mandatory periodic inspections, were some of the documents most requested by the PSP in this major operation, which also included inspection of the interiors of vehicles.
Police found that many items required to be present were missing and it was noted for their records.
The Journal knows that at least one taxi driver was arrested for being in possession of a weapon. The driver was travelling with this dangerous weapon in the boot of his taxi.
Police action has since been extended to the Avenida do Mar, Avenida Sá Carneiro and Avenida do Infante, showing the PSP are going to be especially firm with regard to frequent transgressions,such as stopping in areas reserved for local parking or in the bus stop bays.
The Journal also found that these combined efforts are being mounted as the result of complaints made by various tour operators regarding how cluttered the port area becomes as some taxi companies and others promoting the tourism industry, hassle the tourists at the port of Funchal. .
The station on Avenida Sá Carneiro, where there are bus bays, is also a concern for the PSP.
This huge police operation is still going on along the streets of Funchal. Results of the ongoing police operation will be announced later in the day by the regional command

More news from Sue :

PSP identifies suspects in raids in the streets of downtown Funchal

Police handcuffed four people near a bar in the Largo do Pelourinho taking them into police custody for questioning

Police action triggered this morning in areas connoted with drug trafficking was far from discreet although it was said that it was a routine activity in this vicinity.  Quantities of heroin (about 50 doses) were confiscated and several found to be in possession.

As part of an ongoing criminal investigation , officers of the squadron PSP Funchal supported by elements of the Rapid Intervention Brigade , carried out raids around 9.30am on several individuals in Larguinho da Feira , next to the Farmers’ Market.

Later, just before the 13 hours, another raid was made on four individuals in an alleged criminal act at a bar in Largo do Pelourinho. All were handcuffed and searched, and taken in police escort to Funchal.

New PDM will the meeting end of September

The Master Plan for the City of Santa Cruz will be released from various constraints to investment, and its initial draft should be ready by the end of September ready for a regular meeting of the municipality.

The president José Alberto Gonçalves ensured that the law would not put into question the future of the county.  The document will be encouraging investment and development, and stressed that the MDP was in the process of collecting opinions from various outside entities involved. The next step following the meeting at the end of September will is the instigation of a Board meeting to drawn up the pre-planning stage.  The mayor said it was necessary to adapt the Municipal Master Plan to the current situation, correcting procedures, particularly in terms of plots and green areas, the criteria must be better defined.   However, at the next public meeting on September 2, the level of urbanization of Santa Cruz will be taken to debate and vote that would complete the phase of public discussion and the final report would be sent to the appropriate authorities.

According to information the next ‘Flash Mob ‘ in Funchal will be held on September 3

It is scheduled for September 3 at 13.30 , but the location of the second ‘Flash Mob Funchal ‘is the big surprise’ of the event organized by ACIF through the project ‘+ Trade ‘.

Rehearsals begin on Saturday (August 14) at 11am in the Square of ACIF. The remaining trials are scheduled for 21 and August 28 at the same time.

Stinkbug attacks the beaches of Porto Santo

Millions of small insects yesterday took up residence with thousands of people on the beach and other public spaces making it unbearable, either by the odor that insects expel, or its sting that resulted in some cases.

Nationals and residents on the island were not surprised by the return of the bedbug – smelling, best known as green -bug or ‘ monk ‘ but were surprised by their presence in hot and humid days as this was unusual, especially when there was no wind.

Although most of the bugs to be phytophagous, or feed on juice obtained from plants, like sap, some are nevertheless hematófafos, depending on their food they get from the blood when they bite an animal or even humans.

The presence of millions of these bugs leads to the inevitable contact with the humans as thousands were on terrace tables, umbrellas and of course do not you any peace and when it is crushed, the odor is more intense, because the ‘ monk ‘ expels odor very aggressive and very troublesome.  When the wind returns the plague will tend to disappear with the same ease with which it appeared.

Could not believe this we had them in the South of France they are harmless but disgusting and you automatically want to ‘swat’ them – don’t – the smell is horrible – reminders for those little boys at school who had ‘stink bombs’.

Cars vandalized at a business park

Seven cars with broken windows, unlocked and dented

During the night from Monday to Tuesday at least seven cars were vandalized in the parking lots located outdoors within the Calheta Business Park, something that gives entrepreneurs to increase their speculation that the security inside this space is insufficient. Only one camera unit is placed on a metal pole at the entrance of the park, with the aggravated circumstance of the gate being open 24 hours.  The estimated loss in accordance with the son of the owner of the company will be around 5-6 thousand. Bruno Fernandes, driver for Rally Trophy Yaris, fears that the insurance will not pay damages within the workshop, since the cars were not in the company space, and excluded, for now, any act of reprisal or settling of accounts that may be behind these acts.

The Public Security Police sent an officer to take account of the occurrence, but some of the affected owners have come to question authority, as it was not helpful to have the presence of PJ as they cannot gather more accurate data, especially at the level of fingerprints.   The Journal also tried to learn from Ricardo Moran, president of the Madeira Business Park, whether the means of surveillance available at the Calheta were sufficient, but their efforts were fruitless.   Information from the EPC stated that "the president is on vacation.

Well Uncle Albert did say he had no intention of answering the telephone and the others in charge should take action – it seems they didn’t want to and he has only be gone a couple of days.

The return of the British

There was an increased number of passengers in July compared to the same month last year.  According to data made available by Madeira airport, there was an additional 1.2 percent, which translates into more than 2601 passengers, who pass from 214,932 in July 2009 to 217,533 in the same period this year.

The paper continues to give various statistics the worst one concerning Porto Santo whose results on balance reflect a loss of 21.1% representing a decrease in passengers by 7857.

Anyone interested to the detailed statistics they can be found in the Journal da Madeira.

The districts of Ribeira Brava and Câmara de Lobos confirmed yesterday the outbreak of three fires starting during the night and morning.  One of the fires was small and was limited to burning weeds on the site of Mercy in Canhas this began shortly after two in the morning and was extinguished by 3:23 a.m. The Fire Department of Ribeira Brava (BVRB) sent three men and a heavy car to extinguish this fire.

A little later, in the same county, the corporation was again called to attend to a fire that destroyed the forest area, the site of Ribeira Funda. It was 7:52 a.m. when a team of BVRB came out for this incident and 8:49 a.m. when the fire was listed as extinct.  The third incident started at 8:51 a.m., the corporation has sent three men and a heavy car to fight a forest fire at the site of Terreiros (Campanário).

A fourth incendiary started in the municipality of Câmara de Lobos at three in the morning and it was fought by 12 men and three vehicles of volunteer firefighters from Câmara de Lobos. The fire was extinguished at about 19 hours.

Lido closes doors as of today

Starting to-day , the lido swimming complex has been closed to the public, due to non-payment of rent and the cancellation of the last two catering concessions who had worked on the terrace above thus there is no justification that the complex remain open .

The Vice-Chairman of the Board ensured that the decision had not been taken lightly and regretted the loss of jobs incurred.  The Lido would not open its doors after restoration due to the lack of funding that the Board needs and in addition the funds from the Media Law had also not been paid to the municipality.

Fire Ladders not High Enough

The Regional Office of Civil Protection is preparing to purchase two fire ladders essential in fighting a fire or other emergency situations in high rise buildings. Currently the region does not have this equipment and its acquisition is considered a priority by the Madeira.

One of 50 meters will be purchased and installed in Funchal by the end of this year or early next, the other one of 30 meters will be installed in the Santa Cruz/Machico region and should be available in September or October (they didn’t say what year!).

There is also an aim to increase the operational capability of the protection and defense against forest fires based on fire brigades in the region, with the purchase of nine vehicles to be used in a heavy type of terrain.  These will form an emergency room which have already been delivered to Sao Vicente and Porto Moniz and Santana where they are now equipped with a tank capacity of approximately three thousand gallons of water and 100 liters of foam. The cost of the project amounted to 1.44 million.  All corporations were covered in Madeira; Porto Santo is the only one remaining outside.

Two earthquakes off the coast of Madeira

The Institute of Meteorology recorded last Saturday, two earthquakes off the coast of Madeira. The first occurred in the sea north of Machico and had an intensity of 2.3 and the second happened east of Porto Santo and with a magnitude of 2.4. Neither one nor the other was felt on land.  Last month six small earthquakes were recorded in the area of the Atlantic, all of small magnitude.

Ultraviolet radiation level with ‘Extreme ’til Wednesday

Up until Wednesday Funchal will register the highest level of ultraviolet radiation.  According to the Meteorology Institute this Monday, Funchal has a level of 12 today (Tuesday) decreasing to 11 on Wednesday.  These levels are considered ‘Extreme ‘.  There for the Institute recommends that between the hours of 1200-1700 sun exposure should be avoided and people are advised to spend the day at home. 

To the best of my knowledge the scale goes up to 16 – so it is high!  So be careful.

Victory for Freddy Loix. Freddy Loix together with his team celebrated the Belgian in the 51st edition of the Madeira Wine Rally .  Freddy Loix finished the race in 03:08:14, 3, 37.8 seconds faster than second-placed Jan Kopecký.  Skoda took the first three places on the podium when Juho Hänninen was ranked third.

Miguel Nunes, ended up in fourth place with 1:48, 0 more than third place. Thus the driver increased his regional rally championship lead.   Miguel Nunes who competed with a Peugeot engine leased to Portugal because his had engine problems before the race, he wants to solve the problem of the engine in order to be 100 % for the National Rally. The rented engine was returned on Sunday.

Executives of Government to take Decisions

On the eve of President Jardim’s vacation in Porto Santo he admitted that he was extremely tired.  In a year that was marked by the storm on 20 February and the following work that ensued he was taking his holiday and would not be answering the telephone whilst on holiday.  Those in charge should make the decisions.  Good old Uncle Albert you tell them!

Son of Madeiran kidnapped in Venezuela

A young 20 year old son of immigrants from Campanário was abducted on Saturday morning in Caracas, is surrounded by mystery and intrigue.  The victim, Alberto da Silva was released after contact with the Police at dawn yesterday near a shopping mall in the state of Miranda.  According to Venezuelan media, however, the family has until today to pay the ransom demanded by kidnappers.

The Venezuelan media report that in the first contact with the family, the kidnappers have demanded a ransom of half a million Bolivars (approximately 87,500 Euros). Subsequently, the amount was reduced to one fifth of the value (100 000 (close to 17 500 Euros). The couple has been threatened with death if no payment of the sum demanded.

Yesterday, police in Caracas gathered information on the identity of the kidnappers and any places where the young Luso -descendants have been taken. According to the Venezuelan press the family is in contact with the police, but there were fears of further developments in the case. The authorities have assured continuation of investigations to identify the authors of the kidnapping but declined to give details of the case.

Louis Smith wins Cocktail Contest

Louis Soares, from the Quinta do Lago, was the winner of cocktail festival, whose challenge in the competition was the use of sugar- cane from Madeira.  Second place went to Sonia Rodriguez, from the Quinta das Vistas and the third place went to  Cristina Pimenta from the School of Hospitality and Tourism Madeira.

This contest closed the fifteenth edition of Machico Gastronomy Week yesterday but I am sure the drinking and dancing continued late into the night.

35 Children Participated in Sand Building at Praia Formosa.

(I found this quite amazing when you think of the seaside sand castles that are built in the UK! – they did call it sand building – but !!!)

Pedro Augusto Silva, 12, student at the Salesian School , was the winner of ‘ Building on Sand 2010 ‘ , organized by Diário de Notícias in Lisbon and Funchal by the company Ocean Front .  In took place in the late morning of Saturday , at Formosa Beach, 35 competitors took part aged between 6 and 14 years , separated into two categories according to age  and an allotted time of 45 minutes.

Ricardo Nunes, director of  Ocean Front, Funchal is already thinking about next year but intends to make a schedule change to encourage more participants in the late afternoon rather than the late morning.

From Anneke, by email :

Last month I went to The Hague, my native town. I had to be there for a concert and farewell party of the conductor of The Hofstads Jeugdorkest. It is a Youth Orchestra. I have played in. It is the biggest (250 members) and oldest Youth Orchestra (1923) of the world.

Before the concert I went to the exposition Wild Wonders of Europe. I had only 1 hour time. That was much to short to see everything. I took some pictures and have put them on Flickr.

The pictures are really stunning. Many you can see on LINK. The country map of Portugal you see on LINK

Two pictures are taken on the Desertas and the Azores, the last two in the gallerie on Flickr.  

There were 100 pictures to see, but I couldn’t take pictures of all. Also the quality of the pictures are not optimal because I have no digital camera. I had to scan them.

This exposition was first mentioned on the blog on June 14.

I advice you if you can go to this exposition it is it really worth going to.

Groetjes, Anneke.

Many thanks to Sue, Martin, Pete and Anneke for sending in a contribution(s) for this blog.

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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 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 only send in ‘exceptional’ or very topical photos by email attachment, as they take quite some time to process. Links to photos that are already online take much less time. Anything submitted for inclusion will be ‘cut and pasted’  to the blog very likely unchecked and unaltered, so please check anything through before sending it in, especially ‘automatic translations’, to avoid any ‘afterthoughts’. Blogs will be published when there is sufficient material to make one worthwhile. I can’t always respond to emails, so please accept my thanks in advance, and the attribution on the blog itself. Der.

You can email [email protected] with any articles etc., but to save time and delays, please use the comments for minor contributions and to ask any questions. Please don’t send in copyrighted / restricted material.

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36 thoughts on “”

  1. Love the spot for the Heliport at the landfill. Lovely for holiday makers having a quick bit or drink. You may even pass the pilot tea and sandwitch before take off.

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  2. Thank you Sue – the news is really, really appreciated. I hope you can keep up the good work.

    It is a great shame about the Lido – where did all the money donated for flood victims go to?

    Not too humid in Gaula, Tobi! Plenty of sun this afternoon but it has clouded over now and it is warm.

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  3. Debs In uk where I lived, they was charity shops selling goods like electrical, furniture, from empty houses, in most cases like new from people no longer want items and handed them in. With other charity shop also selling cloths in excellent order to wear. They are very popular, did vast turn around. This is what this island needs.

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  4. Good idea in theory Pete, but Madeirans don’t throw anything out. It goes back to Der’s toaster – someone will always find an alternative use for something. Perhaps in the UK people have just got too much money and/or want the latest gadget/ clothes etc and replace things unnecessarily.

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  5. I’m glad that it dosen’t get tooooooo hot here! A mere 34*c at the moment and climbing….I watched the outside thermometer climb through 7 degrees yesterday evening, in less than an hour! Still, the wind from Africa will help top up Machico beach with Sahara sand – if it can land! Pith Helmet, Poncha and Prostrate in the Hammock in the shade then…..have a nice day everyone, stay cool, use the pool.

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  6. SOOOoooo Hot today , and the wind this side is so warm.

    Airport Arrivals stunk of BO this morning…. HOT WEATHER = MORE DEODORANT Pleeeease….

    Stay cool people….

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  7. i saw all the police out side the forum shopping yesterday morning , a big operation, much have been at least 20 police and 6-8 cars and vans, they were both sides of the road.

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  8. Well done Martin – you made it with a little bit of help from your friends.

    Lovely hot dry weather – makes you forget the storms -would rather have it hot and dry – only thing I miss now about France is our pool! – sat outside with a last drink about 2330 last night and it was still 32C. I was allowed my fan in the bedroom again last night whilst the other half wrapped himself in the duvet!

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  9. The fire (above Funchal) appears to have started in the hill forest above Gaula/Santa Cruz yesterday evening/night and has been burning all day – the bombeiros appeared to have it damped down by late this morning but the very srtong, dry and hot winds restarted it and blew it across towards Funchal. I have no reports of damage or casualities but we did see and hear at least one ambulance (and two fire tenders) heading up to the hills above Gaula…..any update appreciated, thank you.

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  10. Jon,
    5 active fires but no fatalities: Eira do Serrado, no Curral das Freiras, Águas Mansas, na Camacha, Terreiros, na Ribeira Brava, Caminho dos Tornos, no Monte e Parque Ecológico, na zona do Chão da Lagoa.

    Latest update: Iintense fire at zona alta do Rochão in Camacha and in Lombada in area of Santa Cruz. Large column of smoke covering Santa Cruz and Funchal.

    Santa Cruz Fire Department worried that fires from Funchal will spread to Santa Cruz due to difficuties in fighting them (wind, several fires, exhausted men). Might become a fire front between Câmara de Lobos and Santa Cruz.

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  11. Yes they look pretty bad , and the wind isnt helping, i have been in Funchal , and the Ash is coming down a lot faster than in Caniço , and the swimming pool at one of the apartments is black, keeping all windows and doors closed tonight, and washing inside as it was covered this morning….

    Lots of stories about the fires on the Diario website, plus videos.

    Reply
    • The fire in the Parque Ecológico even made it on the national news.

      Whilst out on the balcony looking for the ‘falling stars’ last night, I saw a fire start about 1.30am, across the other side of the valley. The Bombeiros arrived about 10 minutes later, and it was all over in 30 minutes luckily. For a fire to start at that time of the night, surely it must be through negligence or deliberately.

      Didn’t see a single ‘falling star’ though!

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  12. Hi Elaine,

    I think these fires are pretty bad , the largest amount of smoke i have seen was over Funchal this afternoon, and the falling ash was not nice , i just thought back to the volcano in iceland and wonder how they managed with all that ash…..

    Pete has sent me some great photos, and Der has put one on the blog , i will add them to my flickr account. Anyone else got any pics i will love to add to my flickr, pretty please……

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  13. Well there must be a fire near me somewhere, just sat outside on my view point (mid night) and live in Ponta do Sol and my glass of wine is ruined as big black floaty things have fallen in it and I have charcoal smudges all over my clothes and the table and my hair is covered in ash!………thats bad!

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  14. One person commenting on a Diario article said the Lord has selected this year to send 4 plagues upon us, and friday the 13th for the fires!!
    What 4 plagues can he mean?
    Look out for your first born sons is all I can say.

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  15. Monmte fire seems to have been burning most the night , not sure if its close to where the festival this weekend will take place , but with all the ash falling it wont be good..

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  16. Well just about to go and ‘hoover’ the terraces, they are quite messy and I don’t suppose it has finished. Tobi have one photo which is not too bad will send it to Der and he will hopefully send it on to you.

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  17. I read that the Lido in Funchal has closed. Does anybody know, is this the Lido on the Rua do Gorgulho near to the Pingo supermarket?

    If it is, then that is a shame. The restaurant there served some lovely food!

    Reply

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