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Massive Clean-up Underway in Madeira

February 23, 2010 — The recovery continues after Portugal's worst natural disaster in ten years.

Residents in the resort island of Madeira are busy cleaning up after this weekend's deadly flooding and mudslides.

Triggered by a heavy rainstorm, the rushing water and mud washed away roads, bridges and cars. At least 42 people have died, and many others have been reported as missing.

Tourists who were holed up in their hotels during the storm were finally able to get outside today. Some were overcome by the devastation.

'We can't do as much as we would like to have done,' said one British tourist. 'But I just feel so sorry for the people, specially higher up in the mountains.'

Many locals in the area are worried that these kinds of floods and mudslides could happen again.

'It's awful. I had here half a metre of water. Now we have the threat that it will all happen again,' said shopkeeper Fernando Martins.

The government in Lisbon has promised to send financial aid to Madeira quickly.

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