Sunday 21 February 2010


Last week it was an avalanche in Pakistan, the week before another in Afghanistan (see my blog of Feb 18). Now heavy rains have brought floods and mudslides to the delightful holiday island of Madeira.

At least 40 people have been killed as tons of mud and stone were washed into the capital Funchal and other towns. The rescue effort has been hampered by the number of roads that have been blocked.

The deadliest mudslide ever was probably the one that hit Venezuela’s coastal strip in December 1999, after 36 inches of rain fell in just a few days. An estimated 30,000 people died – many of them inhabitants of the shanty towns that clung precariously to the ridges around the capital Caracas. (see also my blog of Oct 10, 2009).

Belated thanks to the Bernstein Crisis Management Blog for its welcome to my (then) new blog almost one year ago!

Thanks also to the Jersey Journal for its article on Disaster! – my new US book:-


  1. Well, at least that is a good reason we should never complain of too much rain over here in England.....I wonder if the rain over here in the UK ever caused so many fatalities.....

  2. Sadly, heavy rain has been a cause of a number of disasters in the UK - notably the 1952 flood that devastated the pretty Devon seaside resort of Lynmouth, killing 34 people. That followed two weeks of heavy rain in August - yes, the holiday season. More details in "A Disastrous History of Britain"