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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Rainstorm threatening Madeira

New rainstorm threatening Madeira after lethal floods

Cars lie buried in sludge in Funchal, Madeira, after the 20 February flood disaster
Madeira is still clearing up after the 20 February disaster
Portugal's island of Madeira is bracing for a new rainstorm a week after a flood disaster killed as many as 70 people and destroyed infrastructure.
Heavy rain falling south of the island is expected to reach land overnight while winds are forecast to gather strength steadily this evening.
The storm is expected to spread to the Iberian Peninsula on Saturday.
The number of people missing on Madeira has been revised upwards to 29 with 41 deaths confirmed, Portuguese media say.
Communication problems have been blamed for discrepancies in casualty figures, with 13 people reported missing on Tuesday when the death toll was being put at 42.
'Stay calm'
Last Saturday's storm caused landslides on the mountainous island, bringing down boulders and mud on to coastal communities.
Madeira map
Officials fear that many of the missing may have been swept out into the Atlantic Ocean.
With the storm expected to reach Spain's Canary Islands overnight, Madrid issued a weather alert.
Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa de la Vega appealed for calm and urged Spaniards to follow instructions given by the authorities and "avoid any type of risks" during the storm.
"It is true that an intense storm with strong winds is approaching but the authorities are on alert and all adequate measures have been taken," she told reporters.
France's weather forecasters issued a similar warning, saying the storm was expected to cross the country from west to east during Saturday night and Sunday.

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