Madeira Floods

The title says it all - Madeira floods. Living here means I get a close up view on every news channel, all day long. And it really is bad.

Currently 42 people have lost their lives. At least three times that amount are hospitalized. According to the news reports (here) searches continue for missing residents.

The worst of the flooding was centred on the island's capital, Funchal. Madeira normally experiences a relatively mild climate and this was a totally unforseen event - catching everyone unawares. It appears that the rainfall the island usually receives over a period of a month hit in a matter of eight hours or so.

It's a terrible disaster for the islanders. The most famous of whom is Cristiano Ronaldo, himself a former resident of Funchal. Currently, aid workers and residents are trying to make sense of the tragedy. The Portuguese military have deployed men to Madeira in order to assist the recovery.

The Madeira flood is the worst of it's kind to ever hit the island. There was a similar though far more minor event back in 1993. As of today, some areas have lost power and communication, those there help continue to search through the destruction for survivors. Hundreds of people are without homes.

The Portuguese President, José Socrates, has (today) declared three days of mourning for the whole country.

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