|Plumes of smoke billow from east to west|
|Close to the airport - and residential areas of Santa Cruz|
|Flames surrounding the motorways to the airport and east of the island|
|Funchal watches nervously as the flames create a halo of fear|
|Residents do all they can to help the firefighters|
|The displaced are en route to sheltered accommodation|
|The heroes who have worked non stop for three days and nights|
|Perilously close- the smoke penetrates all the city's homes|
|Our beautiful purple-green mountains will take years to recover. |
The Palheiro Golf Club area is worst hit
|No comment required...|
|This plane has just taken off from Funchal Airport|
|Political message from the fire brigade "Today we are heros, tomorrow |
we'll be forgotten and abandoned - but we'll never abandon our people"
Moderate winds are aiding the spread of embers and frustrating the fire fighters. Extra fire fighting crews and equipment have arrived from the mainland.
It is heartbreaking to see the devastation of our prized flora and the scarring of this very green and lovely land.
The saddest part is that the authorities are now convinced the fires were started deliberately.
If, as some suspect but I find hard to believe, this is some kind of political protest, I denounce the cowards who would rather scorch the land than face their opponents in open and democratic debate.