More news from Sue :
Corneal transplant in 2011 in Madeira
Next year the Government will start cornea transplants at the Hospital Dr. Nelio Mendonça. Also during 2011 the Regional Secretariat for Social Affairs has the objective to proceed with the strengthening of neuro surgery for neuro navigation, the increase of radio surgery and operation of the Neutrogena Unit for patients in need of surveillance usually associated with cancer, chemotherapy or suffering from severe infection. This is a package of measures essential to neutralise the need of patients to move out to receive treatment. It is also the goal to reduce the number of treatments that have to make abroad and the Regional Government has now put the improvement of conditions for professionals and users in the health sector to the fore front.
Gone are the days when the boom of load fire crackers being set off from home for Christmas and New Year there are now only limited to “kissing” “bomblets” “bottle bombs” (now banned) and pots.
Today when entering a firework shop, the difficult is the choice as the products are increasingly attractive and varied both in price and appearance. The most expensive product sold are the battery boxes with a small circuit that activates balloonist, who will become a flying sequence. There are of course various sizes and the most expensive amounts to 145 Euros. Whilst admitting there are those who spend too much money on fireworks at this time of the year, the shop refused to give examples of the amounts spent by their best customers (business ethics). Amongst the best selling products are the kisses, pots and rockets but not forgetting the bomblets which really mark this season. So saying the financial climate has affected the number of fireworks sold, even in 2009 there had been a decline and this has continued this year.
The Director of the Regional Office of Meteorology has predicted a cloudy year end with good and open periods and in principle no rain. However, these forecasts will be updated on 29 December as weather conditions may change by then.
Year End Predictions
According to the latest poll, hotel occupancy in Madeira in late 2010 is around 78% but it is hoped that this will be raised and to achieve this goal, several press releases were sent out, especially to mainland Portugal aiming to captivate Portuguese tourists.
Concerning the cruise ships there is only six expected this year, a number much lower than in previous years but due to their size it represents a larger amount of tourists.
The Regional Director of Tourism in his end of year message expressed the hope that the year 2011 would be better than 2010. Especially as Madeira had suffered difficult times in 2010 such as 20 February, the ash problems and the fires. It is hoped that São Pedro will be a friend of Madeira in showing that the end of the year will not be affected. Remembering the show that allowed Madeira to enter into the Guinness Book of Records was a lifetime experience. This year there will be 40 posts for which Porto Santo are prepared for.
Video snippets from Becky :
A modern take on the Christmas song ‘A Todos Um Bom Natal’. The traditional children’s choir version seems to be on continuous play in Pingo Doce!
Noite do Mercado 2010 from the viewpoint of just one of the drinks stalls…
Non-Christmas related, but one of the strangest tours of Machico you’re ever likely to see. If only he’d fixed the camera behind the handlebars and not underneath the saddle! If you’re able to overcome the distraction of the pedalling legs… it’s actually quite an invigorating ride around the town, especially if you know Machico. If you don’t know it, you’re basically riding round random streets between the legs of a cyclist!
News from Sue (21 December)
Curral das Freras – the Nun’s Valley
The Nun’s Valley again suffered bad weather Sunday night to Monday, causing three casualties; the site of the Capela was mainly affected being hit again by water, aggregates and stones carried by force of the water. The population of Capela were again frightened viewing at dawn the rocks and rubble that had been dragged down and entered several homes and damaged five cars. One woman suffered a fractured leg when she tried to help a child; she was then rescued by fire-fighters and taken to hospital.
The road was blocked above the site of the Capela, as a result of the river overflowing over a bridge blocking it with rocks, the machines that were in the lower part of the Nun’s Valley were used for cleaning and removal of stones. The old road was partially destroyed by the sloped stones cleared from the previous storms were dragged down. The Seara Velha School was not accessible and there was a field full of stones. The Estrada da Madeira was temporarily closed on a section the Regional Road 107 to the Nun’s Valley between the sites of Vasco Gil and Ribeira da Lapa, the connection to Eira do Serrado, and also the access road to the site of Colmeal due to landslides, and the conditions were standardised throughout the day.
The sea waves prevented the completion of the journey between Madeira and Porto Santo by the Lobo Marinho ferry but the situation in the Madeira International Airport "was normal" although there was one cancellation by Easy Jet not related to the bad weather in Madeira (probably the snow in UK!)..
Other Weather Incidents
Volunteers and the City of Funchal had their hands full from dawn until late afternoon yesterday responding to more than thirty incidents related to heavy rain and strong wind. From 4am until 6pm these interventions covered the cutting of trees that fell on the road, flooding and road cleaning.
Some of the more serious incidents included the fall of a large tree in the early hours of the morning on Estrada Comandate Camacho de Freitas, at the site of the Orangery which caused slight damage to a vehicle and hit a house requiring the use of a crane for the removal work. The road was closed and opened again the early afternoon after the road had been cleaned.
Later fire-fighters rushed to the Curral dos Romeiros at Monte due to the fall of several trees, rocks, debris, including electricity poles, leaving the town without access to cars. The BVM supported a hotel existing there by allowing the movement of light vehicles and also allowed passage to residents whilst the clean-up operations proceeded. During the day five interventions were recorded due to falling trees on the roads in São Roque, Santo António, Monte, Caminho dos Preto and São Gonçalo.
There were two call outs due to collapsing walls, respectively on the Caminho do Desterro, Monte and the Ponte do Cidrão in Funchal. Action was still continuing on the Avenida do Mar (clear rocks, logs and debris at the mouth of the river) due to the rising flow of the Ribeira de Santa Luzia. As if this was not enough the BVM were called to a suspected fire in a house at Estrado do Livramento but nothing abnormal was detected.
A collapse in Fundoa in San Roque, above the rotunda, destroyed a major pipeline cutting the water supply in areas of San Antonio and São Martinho a distance of 150 meters. The Municipality of Funchal moved immediately to the area to repair the damaged pipeline due to last night’s bad weather, This repair will take a minimum of six days, given the difficult conditions of terrain and inaccessibility of the area to install the repair equipment.
In this context, requests the CMF municipalities in the affected areas, to call for necessary restraint in the consumption of water so as to avoid supply disruptions. The Board advises that the conduit linking ETA to the west of the city, which is responsible for supplying water from the highlands of Santo António, Santo Amaro and Romeiras, being necessary to reduce the pressure on the network to enable the supply Domestic flow with minimal maintenance. The municipality said that it was using the fire service (BVM and BMF) with auto-tank cars to ensure the supply of water to these reservoirs.
Robbery in Santa Rita. A woman was robbed yesterday in Santa Rita, São Martinho, but a suspect was eventually caught shortly afterwards when he walked near the "Cimentos Madeira." The individual was apprehended by police brigades to the civilian Police Câmara de Lobos, who searched the area to see where he could have thrown the bag lady in order to recover the proceeds of theft. Days earlier, a mother and daughter, of Russian nationality, walking on the promenade of Praia Formosa, were the target of assault and robbery of a wallet which contained about three hundred Euros,
Many thanks to Becky and Sue for sending in a contribution(s) for this blog.
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