At least 25 people are dead on the Portuguese Atlantic island of Madeira following heavy storms, reporting the local government Saturday.
At least another 60 were injured due to the heavy rains. Some reports stated that the dead numbered 32.
The rains caused flooding and landslides across the island, a highly favoured tourist destination. Surging water swept away cars, bridges and trees. There were widespread power outages reported, as well as reports of wind gusts of hundreds of kilometres an hour.
Airports were shut down and many streets were rendered unusable.
Residents were urged not to leave their homes as many communities on the island have been cut off from the outside world.
Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates said he was “deeply troubled” about the deaths and damage. He said he would travel to Madeira to take stock of the damage as soon as weather conditions permitted.
With 265,000 residents, Madeira is the largest island in the archipelago of the same name.