A Look at the Portuguese World


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The longest night of the year

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Come discover the before and after of a sea storm that struck the south coast of Madeira , in particular the town of Santa Cruz.

Contrary to the assertions are not only climate change mainly responsible for the sea invasion of the land , the ocean is a force of nature in constantly changing, lively and unpredictable and many times we forget that. Since the world is world always existed tides , tidal waves and sea storms , what changed was the direct action of man on the coast and on an island the consequences of these natural events are at least overwhelming . In the late afternoon of December 17th, 2013 the sky was painted copper, a natural phenomenon that heralded the beginning of what would be a long sleepless night and the prelude to an announced tropical storm. The sea of the south coast of Madeira Island, usually serene blue as a well as the people say, decided to show its strength and destroy everything that lies in its path. Waves with nine meters high crashed off the coast of Santa Cruz mercilessly, in an almost deafening noise of volcanic rocks shattered into a thousand pieces by the force of furious seawater.


I and others like me we looked impotent and silent the water invasion aggravated by wind and heavy rain that drag skeletons of trees and debris to the main arteries of the city with the soul of the village. The Beach Street became literally a walkway to the rising sea, the palm trees waved up but did not break, the buildings resisted silently while being buffeted by the merciless storm. Almost no one ventured by the salty lanes. Elsewhere in Santa Cruz the waves rise and showed it white rage , a frightening phenomenon , but at the same time of an almost indescribable beauty , a kind of foam pump that fragmented into millions of salty drops that bathed everything in its round . It was Mother Nature at its best.

And all do, I had everything to lose, but at the same time, it was hard not to admire the raw and wild beauty of this natural phenomenon. It was a long , very long night, of no rest and when least expected, by dawn nature also gave in to fatigue, shy rays of sun arose between the gray clouds , the waves calmed down a bit and people gradually returned to their daily lives , curious in search of the damage on the coast . The pebble covering sheaths of the city with soul village disappeared almost completely , left over's , small gray hills surrounded by black sand , debris from new Madeira now covered the areas of pedestrian access, palm trees withstood wounds with their roots denuded , the remaining foliage plants were black scorched by salt, stones were strewn pavement of the streets and trunks of massive trees , plastic and garbage pile up a bit by all the places of Santa Cruz . It was not the worst storm that ever saw, but left many material consequences. And unfortunately one dead in the town next door, in Machico.

With the morning already high, some people sought among the debris scattered on the beach leftover of their vessels moored in the marina, the waves had simply flooded everything sanking more than 16 ships. Nothing remained, though others managed to put more forethought to save their small boats. Along the promenade the raging waves left a trail of destruction, holes in the walkways, but also what the sea takes away also gives back, slowly the seawater returns the small pebbles, it was tamed throughout the day, let itself go, to show again its blue calm. Until the next storm.

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