2010, 20th February – Alluvium in Madeira Island

Rain continued to fall incessantly on the island of Madeira during the dawn of 20th February 2010.
This storm was a sequence of events initiated by heavy rainfall, followed by a rise in sea level. The orography of the island, the lack of town planning and illegal construction were factors that will have aggravated the effects of the disaster, causing heavy flooding with the overflowing of streams and landslides along the slopes of the island, particularly in the south.
The lower part of the city of Funchal was flooded and road traffic was hindered by stones and tree trunks dragged along the streams of São João, Santa Luzia and João Gomes.
The chapel of Nossa Senhora da Conceição was taken by the force of the waters, together with some houses. The image of the Saint was saved by the people.
It was confirmed 47 dead, 4 missing, 600 homeless and 250 wounded.
The amount of water that fell that day, particularly at Pico do Areeiro, was the highest ever recorded in Portugal.
The losses were estimated at around EUR 1 080 million, distributed by the State,
740 million by the regional government, together with private donations and insurance companies which supported 309 million. The European Union Solidarity Fund contributed EUR 31 million.
The Portuguese government declared three days of national mourning.
Picture extracted from Wikipédia, “Aluvião na ilha da Madeira em 2010” by Andreas Gehret from Hamburg, Germany