Monday 23 January 2017

Three days of mourning for Madeira flood victims

Joao Lima in Lisbon

Published 23/02/2010 | 05:00

The Portuguese government declared three days of national mourning after floods hit the Atlantic island of Madeira on Saturday killing at least 42 people.

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The government will seek financing from the European Investment Bank to help rebuild infrastructure that was damaged by floods, Internal Administration Minister Rui Pereira said yesterday after an extraordinary cabinet meeting.

Portugal also plans to set up a short-term credit line to help shops affected by the flooding.

Rescue workers have scrambled to find survivors and clean up after torrential rains on Saturday turned streams into gushing rivers that blasted through the island's capital city, Funchal, overturning cars, destroying houses and blocking roads.

Mr Pereira said Finance Minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos would travel to Madeira tomorrow to talk to regional authorities and evaluate the cost of the damage.

Mr Pereira said the death toll was unchanged at 42 though there have been warnings it could climb as the clean-up progresses.

Officials said that about 120 people were injured and some 240 lost their homes and four were still missing.

Some remote villages on the island have not been reached yet because of blocked roads.

Irish Independent

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