The Diario reports that by a strange coincidence a board fell from the roof of the church at Monte yesterday morning. Firefighters were called to attend at around 10.00 – had it been the previous day the church would have been full of the faithful participating in the Eucharist in honour of Senhora do Monte.
Meanwhile it has been established that the oak tree which fell on the assembled crowds killing thirteen people on Tuesday, was planted in lands belonging to the parish of Monte. Miguel Albuquerque, President of the Regional Government, speaking at a press conference yesterday, questioned that there had been previous warnings in connection with the tree in question. He admitted, however, that in these situations it was natural that there would be many accusations. A representative of the Madeira Regional Civil Protection Service also insisted that his organisation had received no “prior notice in the last months or even years of this situation”.
The Journal quotes experts as saying that it is premature to speculate as to reasons for the tree falling, and that investigations will take at least a few more days
Tree awareness everywhere
Funchal Noticias reports that suddenly everyone has woken up to the danger that unstable trees or branches can present to pedestrians or motor vehicles. One of their reporters observed firefighters carrying out a tree-cutting operation alongside a road in the vicinity of Monte yesterday. They comment that even those with political responsibility whose customary position was postpone any decision on these subjects were now inclined to action. They identify a “branch of not inconsiderable dimensions, broken and suspended over the branches of the jacarandás of Rua João de Deus, in central Funchal, in front of the main gate of the High School of Francisco Franco” that requires urgent attention.
Yellow weather warning for all areas
The JM reports that the Madeiran Archipelago is under yellow warning due to the persistence of high maximum temperature values. According to IPMA, the Portuguese Met Office, this alert will be in effect until 6.00pm on Saturday 19th, for the north coast, south coast and mountainous areas of the island of Madeira as well as for the island of Porto Santo. Hopefully no fires!
Saturday: the yellow warning has been extended to tomorrow night.