A wildfire has raged through the mountains of Madeira, Portugal since August 8 and has now reached the region’s largest city. The fire has killed three people, destroyed homes, and forced evacuation of hospitals and hotels. Furthermore, some of the region’s prominent historical buildings are still engulfed in flames.
According to local reports, the fire divided into two fronts, one towards the city of Luso and the other toward the town of Vila Nova de Monsarros in the northern region.
In Vila Nova de Monsarros, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Funchal Madeira, with the support of Pathfinders and the local Adventist Church, has helped the local council with humanitarian assistance for the affected population by delivering fruit, water and food. They are also raising donations, managing volunteers and a warehouse for the collection and distribution of goods.
Also, in Vila Nova de Monsarros the fire has destroyed a home and store owned by two members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The fire is also threatening additional properties that are owned by Church members.
“We praise God for the protection of life granted to all members of our church on the island of Madeira,” said Jorge Duarte, communication director for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Portugal, “however, let us pray the Lord to protect the population of our country.”
“This is a terrible experience for all population affected. We pray for those that have lost their belongings, and for those that are in pain due to this ravaging fire,” said Corrado Cozzi, communication director for Adventist Church’s Inter-European Region.