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Portugal Raises Madeira Death Toll To 40


Portuguese authorities say the toll from flash floods and landslides on the island of Madeira has risen to 40 dead -- with more than 100 missing or injured.

Lisbon has sent relief planes and a naval ship equipped with helicopters, to conduct search and rescue missions and deliver much-needed emergency supplies.

The floods were triggered by days of heavy winds and rains.

Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates said he was "deeply troubled" by the deaths and damage and said he planned to visit the island, while Interior Minister Rui Pereira said officials were studying the possibility of declaring a state of emergency and seeking help from the European Union.

The resort island of Madeira is located about 900 kilometers from the Portuguese mainland and is popular with foreign tourists.

compiled from agency reports
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