Monte. Unstable trees. Yellow warning.

Monte church

Monte churchThe Diario reports that by a strange coincidence a board fell from the roof of the church at Monte yesterday morning. Firefighters were called to attend at around 10.00 – had it been the previous day the church would have been full of the faithful participating in the Eucharist in honour of Senhora do Monte.
Meanwhile it has been established that the oak tree which fell on the assembled crowds killing thirteen people on Tuesday, was planted in lands belonging to the parish of Monte. Miguel Albuquerque, President of the Regional Government, speaking at a press conference yesterday, questioned that there had been previous warnings in connection with the tree in question. He admitted, however, that in these situations it was natural that there would be many accusations. A representative of the Madeira Regional Civil Protection Service also insisted that his organisation had received no “prior notice in the last months or even years of this situation”.
The Journal quotes experts as saying that it is premature to speculate as to reasons for the tree falling, and that investigations will take at least a few more days

Tree awareness everywhere

Dangerous tree overhanging road

Funchal Noticias reports that suddenly everyone has woken up to the danger that unstable trees or branches can present to pedestrians or motor vehicles. One of their reporters observed firefighters carrying out a tree-cutting operation alongside a road in the vicinity of Monte yesterday. They comment that even those with political responsibility whose customary position was postpone any decision on these subjects were now inclined to action. They identify a “branch of not inconsiderable dimensions, broken and suspended over the branches of the jacarandás of Rua João de Deus, in central Funchal, in front of the main gate of the High School of Francisco Franco” that requires urgent attention.

Yellow weather warning for all areas

Hot wethar clip artThe JM reports that the Madeiran Archipelago is under yellow warning due to the persistence of high maximum temperature values. According to IPMA, the Portuguese Met Office, this alert will be in effect until 6.00pm on Saturday 19th, for the north coast, south coast and mountainous areas of the island of Madeira as well as for the island of Porto Santo. Hopefully no fires!
Saturday: the yellow warning has been extended to tomorrow night.

10 thoughts on “Monte. Unstable trees. Yellow warning.”

  1. I think the juristiction and causes are still being debated, but one area of confusion was the identity of the type of tree in danger of falling. The letters reproduced in yesterday´s Diário (Freguesia to CMF) refer to the plátano trees requiring attention, no mention of oak trees.

    I am not sure plátano means in english, so I put it into the google translator, and it came out as banana, which it is definately not in this case. Another online dictionary says that it means ‘plane tree’. The banana is not a tree anyway, it is a plant (and its fruit of course).

  2. Plátano is a Plane tree of which there are a few in Monte. But the tree that fell was not a plane tree, different bark and may have been a type of oak tree. Oak is Carvalho in Portuguese. There was some mention that the tree may have had Armillaria, more commonly known as Honey Fungus. Both oaks and plane trees are resistant to this. But nevertheless this tree was rotten and it appears to have just snapped off rather than uprooted. Jorge is correct in that a banana is not a tree but an herbaceous perennial.

  3. Dear Kathy, I cannot say categorically yes or no as my english vocabulary is very limited in botanical names. However here on Madeira, where we have our own special version of portuguese (many hundreds of words and expressions that don’t exist elsewhere) the word plátano means a type of tree and nothing else. But it could be in another part of the world, Brazil for example, that it could exist, and I have a feeling that it does for several reasons. We actually have an online dictionary of some of our differences, but it is not listed there and a padre here also wrote a book about the linguistic differences here.

    Many english people and probably others as well, assume that a word here that looks similar to an english word must mean the same. Just a few days ago I was passing a shop with a sign saying ‘Abre Brevemente’, and heard the comment that it was shut because of a berevement. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter, sometimes it is misleading, sometimes it is dangerous. It is obvious that this blog uses a translating tool for example because the author is not familar with portuguese, but sometimes it can produce real bloopers like saying that the tragedy in Monte was as a result of a falling banana tree.

    LG – yes the tree that fell was a carvalho. I was not suggesting otherwise, just saying that the letters sent by the Junta to the CMF referred to plátanos and nothing mentioned about carvalhos.

    Some interesting new and unexpected developments in the controversy arose today, but I will leave your blogger to reveal all if he or she wishes to.

    • Plátano is a Spanish Word that refers to a fruit that looks more like a knobbly cucumber, sweet, green, that turns black when very ripe. You can see photos on Google images. In Portugal it is only the type of tree that you see on the Estada Monumental, that looks like camouflage

  4. If you read the blog more carefully Jorges you will see that I referred to reports that “other eye-witnesses describe the fall of a banana tree precipitating the collapse of the oak”. To say that I am not familiar with Portuguese is incorrect by the way, as it has been part of my environment for more than 30 years. I am just not as talented as yourself.

  5. Are there banana ‘trees’ in that zone? At over 500 metres it is well above the ‘banana line’. Anyway as you have now altered the wording you have covered your tracks, but my point being is that the google translator turned plátano into banana tree instead of plane tree. Automatic translation just cannot get things in context, amongst other problems, and needs to be carefully checked.

    Anyway I will leave you in peace, at least until the next time that google alerts sends me your blog

  6. Give it a rest Jorge your comments are becoming tiresome. It doesn’t matter if it’s a money tree that has fallen, the fact is people have died. Our thoughts go out to the family’s who have been affected by this tragedy. I hope the injured heal quickly and those that have died rest in peace.


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