47 people lost their lives, 120 were wounded, and 250 evacuated. These are the statistics of the tragedy that struck the Portugese island of Madeira. The exceptional wave of bad weather that damaged the island, which is situated north of the Canary islands, swept away cars and trees, caused the collapse of bridges and transformed the streets into violent torrents of water and mud.
The localities remaining without electricity and completely isolated were numerous. This profound wound inflicted by nature which struck the archipelago, attacked furiously the capital of Funchal and its surrounding area.
The community of the Daughters of St. Paul, which is located on the island, and right in the capital, did not receive any great damage. Even though mud penetrated into the book center, the fortunate position of the building, in the shelter of a plateau, left it almost untouched by the devastation. In addition, thanks to the alertness and prudence of some of the sisters and collborators, it was possible to save the majority of the materials in the Center.
The day after the tragedy brought the reality up before our eyes, affrims Sr. Sara Gilvaz and Sr. Sandra Dantas, the destruction and the great damage inflicted on hundreds of families on our island. The nearness, in prayer and in action, of the entire Pauline Family, gives us support and the will to rebuild immediately an island of happiness.