A Recount Of The Madeiran Catastrophe Of Early 2010

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Madeira is a paradise for the holidaymaker. Unfortunately, the five local bus companies can also make it a confusing island where public transport is concerned. A vital first step after deciding to holiday here is, to avoid delay, book yourself a Madeira Airport Transfers to take you to your chosen hotel. Next, when you are contemplating what to visit and, more importantly, how to get there, hire transport from an established Madeira Taxi company. Having dispensed with the essentials you may be surprised to learn that Madeira has a tragic recent past.

Anyone who visits the capital city of Madeira, Funchal, today may find it hard to understand that it was only in February 2010 that the unpredictability of nature struck with fatal consequences. Our normally easy going city was subjected to devastating floods and damaging mudslides. It was an event that few who live here will forget.

February 20th is the date of the day that will live in my memory forever.

The world's press and television reports captured barely a tiny fraction of the horror, but the news was so mind grabbingly extreme that it soon dominated the media throughout the globe.

The preceding winter had been wet. The thin mountainous topsoil that sits above the volcanic rock was already saturated to the brim. The final few hours of downpour that occurred on that Saturday in late February was the final straw. Widespread flooding became unavoidable.

Several areas were severely affected: Funchal, Monte, Curral das Freiras, Ribeira Brava, Serra d' ?gua, Tab?a, Ponta do Sol, Calheta, Santa Cruz, Camacha.

Miraculously, my residential area was spared of any destruction and thank God it was a Saturday morning and my family was all safe at home. As it all got worse from mid-morning, they could well have been in serious danger, had they left the house early in the morning, as they normally do on a working day.

Also, compared to the devastation of other areas, I must say what we had to deal with was of little importance: no electric power for a short period - we used a small radio on batteries to be informed of what was happening. Once the power supply was restored we were faced with yet a further reality - the cable connection had been cut, so no television, no phone and no Internet. As I do business through the Internet, I started getting worried about any emails from our clients that I couldn't access. After 60 stressful hours normality was restored. By then I had about 70 unread messages, each and every one asking me if we were all alright, God bless them!

The heart of Funchal was left flooded with a combination of water, mud, stones, debris, remains of trees... Inevitably, the aftermath of the flood got into every nook and cranny it could find. Shops, restaurants, shopping centers, supermarkets, parking lots, none were spared.

As soon as the tempest of the storm subsided, the local authorities employed their resources to clearing up the aftermath.

Once most debris was removed, reconstruction started immediately. For our sake, and for the sake of our island, because we feared loosing one of Madeira's main sources of income - the tourist industry.

Thankfully, the hotel neighbourhood suffered nothing at all, but the perception that Madeira was greatly damaged, would, most certainly, keep tourists away.

Now, almost twelve months since that destructive day, there are still a few things that need to be undertaken. However, today everybody is more ecologically conscious and appreciates that some behaviors are storing trouble for the future and need to be avoided at all costs, like building too near to our water channel.

From our previous mistakes, lessons have been learned.

So, to all those citizens of the world, contemplating if it's still worth floating garden holiday paradise - of course it is, the island is as beautiful as ever and welcomes you with the utmost friendship.

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