The saddest story of all - Madeira floods

edited December 1969 in General
I guess most locals now know the tragic story about the family of 8 living in Pomar da Rocha, that was almost totally wiped out in a landslide here on 20th February.

The one survivor is a young man (some conflicting reports about his exact age, but thought to be 18), who lost the other 7 members of his family, and is leaving hospital this week, having had some digits amputated (again some conflicting reports on how many). On TVI national news last night it was a lead story, and they said that he is traumatised and recieving help for that. He is coming out of hospital this week, to face a stark reality of making a new start with almost no remaining family, no home, and no possessions, and not even with a change of clothes I believe, and whether he will be able to continue to work as a result of his injuries I don’t know (he was I am told working at the petrol station by the via rápida in Ribeira Brava).

Feliz Abreu’s school in Ribeira Brava is trying to raise some money to get him started, and help him find a new home, and to buy him clothes, as he has absolutely nothing. There is another fund raising effort in Ribeira Brava where friends and locals are also putting what they can spare towards a fund to help Feliz.

If anyone is able to help / contribute then the PayPal button on the right of the web page below can be used, and if you can mark in the comments box FELIZ, then I will ensure any money is passed on in full. I can also provide bank account details [€ / £]. If PayPal is not an option for anyone. You can email (details on the same web page) if you need that information.

I can’t even begin to imagine how Feliz will cope once back in reality. I can’t even imagine how someone can possibly ever return to a normal life after what he has been through. At least if he has somewhere to stay and some money and personal possessions he will have a chance to try.

Thanks for reading this.


  • Hello,

    I am working on a documentary for National Geographic called 'Witness.' We are covering the Madeira Landslides in this documentary and I am appealing for any footage that people may have shot themselves during this event. I am particularly interested in any holidaymakers who may have been filming before the event occurred - so that we can document the island before, during and after.

    If anyone is interested in being involved in this project please email me on

    Many thanks,

  • Which parts was effected most? Was it anywhere near Calheta?
  • Calheta was pretty much safe, the worst hit areas were Funchal, Serra da Agua & other areas of R.Brava & part of Canhas. Funchal is now more of less back to normal but repairs in other areas is a little slower but getting there!
  • Can this happen again?
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