Friday, 20 July 2012

Flames of hell in Paradise

For the last three days vast areas of Madeira, approximately 10% of the landmass,  have been engulfed by flames. See the satellite picture below.

Plumes of smoke billow from east to west 
Four major forest fires are causing havoc around the island - the one near Funchal is causing the most concern.

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.

:(

16 comments:

  1. I truly hope they were not intentionally set! What a tragic thing! I hope they come under control quickly! Will be thinking of you and hoping that you remain safe.

    With drought conditions across much of the US, I am surprised we have not had more rampant fires here.

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    1. Hi Momma, the police are investigating, still no news on the culprits, if any. We are fine thanks and the fires are all out, but the damage is heartbreaking. I've seen on CNN your drought problems, I hope the rains will fall soon.
      x

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    2. Glad to hear the fires are out and the city is safe. XX

      The forecast over the next week here only calls for the slight chance of scattered showers on a couple of days. High today to be 106 oh joy!

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  2. Great photos of a terrible disaster. I hope it doesn't get into the city, which I guess is exactly what the locals are thinking..It will all be a mess when the flames die off.

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  3. Tempo; The fires are out and the city is safe - now the clean-up begins. Shame about the damage to our wild flora but time will fix it :)

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  4. Ugh...i saw a news item about this...sounds terrible...im all too familiar with those scenes...down in my corner people fear high summer in some spots. A few years ago 150 people died in one of the worst conflagrations recorded...nothing worse than looking out yer window and seeing the entire horizon at night glowing orange...
    glad its all over :)

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    1. Dan, I often hear about the bush fires of Australia - must be bloody frightening on such a huge scale.

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    2. yep they certainly are...that said though, being stuck on an island on fire wold be like staring into the gates of hades...

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  5. As Tempo says the photos are amazing but it is such a shame that they are off (hopefully) a natural rather than man made disaster. I'm glad to see from your comment above that the fires are out and the city is safe.

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    1. HF, its all under control now. The clean-up has started :)

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    2. An update on the fires please?

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    3. Under control Tempo, some areas are still smouldering, fire crews hoping for rain (not due till October)- clean up underway :)

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  6. That looks terrifying Joe! I think it’s become the norm that these fires are set by people – wtf is wrong with them??

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    1. Some deranged chap has been arrested and charged - he apparently had a grudge against the fire brigade for not accepting his application to join them !?

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  7. That is terrible. So glad the city was safe & there were no fatalities. Well, no human ones. Nature always pays the price for our follies.

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    1. Sadly so Angeline. Trees take years to grow and a lot of them were destroyed. Someone is under arrest - someone who had a grudge against the Fire Service for rejecting his application :(

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