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Floods, Mudslides Kill 40 on Portuguese Island


Officials say the death toll could still rise

Portuguese rescue workers dug frantically through homes and streets buried under heaps of mud in the resort island of Madeira after flash floods and mudslides killed at least 40 people and injured more than 100.

Rescue workers and military personnel flew from mainland Portugal to the Atlantic island to help with the efforts. Regional social affairs secretary Francisco Ramos told reporters Sunday that the death toll could still rise.

He said there are no estimates on the number of people missing.

Local media said heavy rain and winds up to 100 kilometers per hour struck the island Saturday night, knocking down trees and blocking roads with debris, hampering rescue efforts.

The popular tourist destination is located about 900 kilometers southwest of mainland Portugal.

It was not immediately clear if any tourists were among the storms' victims.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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