Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has offered financial support to his native Madeira following devastating wildfires which have killed at least four people and led to mass evacuations.

The Real Madrid striker made the offer during a phone call to the president of the Portuguese islands, Miguel Albuquerque.

Reports in Portugal didn’t reveal how much he had offered.

After yesterday’s conversation Ronaldo posted a message on his Facebook page revealing his pain over the destruction caused by fires in the islands of Madeira and other parts of Portugal, especially the north.


The Euro 2016 winner said: “It is with an aching heart that I’m seeing what’s happening in Madeira and other parts of the country.

“My support goes out with a thank you to all those firefighters who are bravely risking their lives to save so many others. I am with you.”

The fires have been widespread and destructive. Over 40 homes have been destroyed, major motorways have been shut and many small villages in the north of Portugal been evacuated.

The Portuguese interior ministry has requested help from the European Union. Spain sent two planes and Italy sent one aircraft to aid with the fire-fighting efforts.

Raging fires threaten french villages near Marseille.

The British Embassy in Portugal also announced yesterday that it was sending two consular officials from Lisbon to assist British tourists caught up in the disaster. They flew to the island yesterday evening.

On Tuesday night British tourists were among guests forced to sleep in a sports centre in the capital Funchal after being evacuated from the four-star Castanheiro Boutique Hotel.

Holidaymakers staying at the five-star Choupana Hills Resort and Spa had to be relocated to other hotels after it was destroyed by flames.

People take pictures of the smoke rising

The dead and injured are almost all locals, with no reports of any British casualties.

There is a possibility that some of the fires had been started on purpose. A 23-year-old suspected of arson has been remanded in custody after appearing before an magistrate.

Four other arson suspects are also said to have been identified.

Portugal’s National Civil Protection Authority said late last night that more than 300 fires were being tackled around the country.


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