The bishop of Funchal said this Thursday that the storm of February 20, 2010 was one of the "most distressing moments" in the history of Madeira and recalled the 47 dead and four missing, during a mass in his memory.
"Hell seemed to have broken out in the Atlantic paradise. And this time, hell was not fire, but water and mud," said Nuno Brás, at the Funchal Cathedral, where several regional figures were present, such as the president and the Assembly. José Manuel Rodrigues, the representative of the Republic for Madeira, Ireneu Barreto, and the Secretary of Health, Pedro Ramos, on behalf of the Regional Government.
The mass also included deputies from the five parties with parliamentary seats (PSD, PS, JPP, CDS-PP and PCP), several mayors and military entities.
Nuno Brás evoked "lost lives", "destroyed houses" and "mourning families", recalling that one of the missing people in the alluvium of 10 years ago was an employee of the cathedral.
"Nothing seemed to be able to contain the fury of the waters," he said, recalling that the catastrophe put the island on the news all over the world for "the worst reasons", but it also revealed the "testimony of faith" of a people who "did not allow themselves to be consumed by anguish and despair "and was able to" rebuild a new future, almost as quickly as the flood had come ".
The Bishop of Funchal also proposed a reflection on the "effective dominance" of man over the Earth, warning, however, that this does not "escape completely a set of natural forces", which reveal his fragility and his Limits.
"We are not God, not even little gods. That is why, in the face of catastrophes, we cannot help but look out for one another and, with our hearts in God, participate in the care of everyone and everyone, whoever it may be" , he said, reinforcing: "This, more than any other, is the moment to show how faith is life and everyone embraces that indestructible love".
The Sé do Funchal was full of people during the mass and, next to the altar, there was a broken crucifix and an image of Nossa Senhora da Conceição, which escaped intact when the flood destroyed the chapel of Babosas, in the parish of Monte, in high areas of the county.
The President of the Legislative Assembly referred to this as a "symbol of hope".
"It is a symbol of hope and today, fortunately, Madeira is better prepared to face a problem of that dimension, such as the February 20 tragedy", said José Manuel Rodrigues, shortly before the beginning of the mass, stressing that this will always be a date that "should be evoked", because it shows the "current of solidarity that raised Madeira".
The storm that occurred 10 years ago in Madeira caused, in addition to 47 deaths and four disappearances, losses estimated at more than 1,000 million euros, which motivated the creation of the Law of Means, a financial mechanism destined to finance the island's recovery works. .