Fires claim lives of elderly couple

Smoke from fires visible from space

Smoke from fires visible from space

The Madeira News website, with its automated 24/7 news feed reports that the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, regretted yesterday the death of an elderly couple found in a lost car in the fires in the municipality of Murça, in the district of Vila Real.

“Regardless of the context in which it took place and the causes that may have motivated it, I cannot help but deeply regret the road accident that led to two deaths in the municipality of Murça and express my feelings to the victims’ families”, declared the head of state. to the Lusa agency.

The elderly couple over 80 years old was found dead inside a lost car in the village of Penabeice, in the municipality of Murça, the mayor, Mário Artur Lopes, told Lusa. According to the mayor, the accident happened “in a burned area and the car was charred”.

The Republican National Guard (GNR) is investigating the accident. In Murça there is an active fire that at 18:00 today was being fought by 231 operatives, 74 vehicles and six air assets.

Fires visible from space

Público reports, with the picture above, that the fires in Portugal and Spain have generated sufficient smoke for it to be visible from space.

In the satellite images released by NASA in real-time, through the NASA Worldview platform, it is possible to see the smoke columns caused by the fires in Portugal. 

The fire that started on Sunday afternoon in Murça, in the district of Vila Real, for example, took on greater proportions today, with half of the territory of the municipality on fire. In the satellite images, the municipality indicated is precisely Murça, with a cloud of smoke that extends for tens of kilometres. 

At 8:00 pm last night, 11 fires were still active in Portugal, forcing the mobilization of more than 1000 operational personnel, 320 vehicles and 16 aircraft.  There were three fires of greatest concern, according to Civil Protection: in Chaves, in Murça, where the tragedy above occurred, and in Vila Pouca de Aguiar (the three in the district of Vila Real). 

COVID-19 in Madeira: updates can be found in an earlier post

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