Monday, 22 February 2010

Madeira Floods

I heard on the Radio that Side by Side Jersey are arranging to collect local donations, which can be made online at

Their website says:

Jersey has very strong established ties with Madeira over many years, which was endorsed by the signing of the Friendship Agreement by the Bailiff and President Jardine more than 12 years ago. At that time the islands recognised the value of each community and their inherently close ties over many years. We are very conscious and proud of the number of Portuguese and Madeiran families who have contributed and lived in the island for several generations. In recognising the great contribution that they have brought to our community we would without hesitation suggest that at least 80% of our population if not every one of us relies on their services in one way or another.

They are to be congratulated for their speedy response, and the way in which they are geared up to accept online donations; this only takes a matter of a few minutes. I know there are many calls on people's generosity, but even £10 to £20 can help. Please donate as generously as you can.

This is the BBC News story.

Portugal is expected to announce three days of national mourning following the floods that have hit Madeira island, killing 42 people. Officials say the announcement will be made at an emergency cabinet meeting convened to discuss the crisis. Search teams are continuing to look for victims amid debris, after mud and rock swept through towns on Saturday. Cars were buried, buildings damaged, and people swept along in raging waters through the regional capital, Funchal. Specialist army teams are working to get through to communities that remain cut off, with roads blocked and bridges collapsed. There were fears that the death toll could rise, particularly in three remote parts of the island, officials said. Funchal Mayor Miguel Albuquerque said: "It is very probable that we will find more bodies," AFP news agency reported. Paramedics and divers have been sent from the Portuguese mainland. A temporary morgue has been set up at the international airport, which reopened for international flights on Sunday. More than 120 people were injured in Saturday's rainstorms in which the rainfall exceeded the monthly average, meteorologists said.

Water, power and telecommunications were cut in some areas, with roofs ripped off buildings and roads buckled by the amount of water.About 250 were made homeless and are staying in temporary shelters. Prime Minister Jose Socrates, who visited the island on Sunday, said he was "profoundly shocked" by the severity of the floods. Portugal has requested emergency funds from the EU, and Spain has offered help. Construction firms on the island offered equipment to rescue teams to help shift the debris.

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