Wednesday night’s blog posting and the very first photos of the fires has so far attracted over 11,000 visitors whilst yesterdays had 10,000 “hits”. I can’t take the credit for this alone – it would be impossible without people sending me links, photos etc. Not least of these is Peter who has sent me the following satellite photo. Co-incidentally I met a German couple who flew into Funchal late yesterday afternoon and were telling me about the amazing views as the Condor pilot skirted the clouds of smoke on the descent. Reassuringly they were more concerned about the island, it’s occupants and the environment than any negative impact on their holiday.
The situations currently most worrying to Civil Protection Madeira are reported to be several places in Santa Cruz and Encumeada (Ribeira Brava). On the situation in the municipality of Santa Cruz, one of the counties most devastated by the flames in the last two days, Luis Neri (the President of CPD) believes that it "is perfectly controlled," stressing that "will be maintained throughout the municipal corporation of that locality because of possible re-ocurrences”. At the site of Morena, according to councilor chamber Santa Cruz, Alexandra Gaspar "two more houses were burned in the morning."He added that in this county "burned several homes and is still difficult to kno”. the number of people affected because there are people who have not returned to homes in order to evaluate the situation.
A new fire that appeared in Fonte do Bispo in Calheta being attended by four vehicles and 15 firefighters.
In the north of the island, in the municipality of Porto Moniz, firefighters are also involved in fighting the flames that have burned since yesterday in Achadas da Cruz It is a bush fire that also was not checked this morning.
A similar situation (fire bush) live in the Fajã da Ovelha in the municipality of Calheta, confirmed Comandante de Bombeiros, João Alegria.
Passos Coelho says it is too early to assess emergency aid to Madeira
According to the Diario yesterday, Portuguese Prime Minister, Passos Coelho, considered it to be too early for a review of the need for emergency aid to Madeira, ravaged by fire which he described as "a new tragedy of Funchal. It is too early to be doing this. It will be done by the regional authorities," he said when asked about whether there is an emergency plan or financial aid for Madeira. "I plan to talk this evening (last night) with Alberto João Jardim," he added, saying that "everything was possible in this emergency situation is to be done."
He added that "there is also a time to make accounts and see which are the most appropriate actions to help recover the whole region, to cope with losses that have occurred and, above all, the plight of people left homeless and that this time must an answer. "
The flames continue to evolve in the valley of the Serra de Agua, in Ribeira Brava. This image this morning shows the area consumed by fire on the slope side of Sao Paulo. The site is inaccessible.
Achada, Porto Moniz earlier today
Also, according to information gathered by Diario, 9 houses and four cars burned in the fire that took place yesterday in the parish of Gaula. The areas of the Centro Histórico, Salão, Fonte e Lombadinha were harassed by the flames that swept from the mountain village to the sea.Right now people still having difficulties in communicating with the outside world, either by phone or internet.
20.00 Police arrest suspect
A news flash has just been posted on the Diario web site saying that the Judicial Police arrested a man in his fifties on suspicion of setting fire in the north of Madeira. “There will be more information soon”.
As pointed out in the “Comments” section the Daily Telegraph finally caught up with the story, using the following photo (Picture: Joana Sousa/AP):