Page last updated at 15:21 GMT, Monday, 22 February 2010

East Yorkshire family's shock at Madeira death

Damaged cars in Madeira after the flood
Search teams are continuing to look for victims

The family of an East Yorkshire woman killed by floods on the holiday island of Madeira have spoken of their shock at the news of her death.

Pamela Gaines, 50, from Garton on the Wolds, was travelling between hotels with husband George when their taxi was swept away by water.

Her family said they were "shocked and deeply saddened with no words beginning to describe what we have lost".

Mrs Gaines was among at least 42 people killed on the island.

Rev John Tallant, vicar at St Michael's Church in Garton on the Wolds, said her death was "very sad" for the family and the village.

Church warden Cliff Wilson said Mrs Gaines's husband had often helped with weed-killing in the churchyard.

Search teams

He added: "It is a shock for all of the village and for the whole of the family."

Her husband is said to have received minor injuries, along with another couple who were in the car.

More than 120 people have so far been injured in the flooding which started on Saturday after the worst storm to hit the island for 17 years.

Search teams are continuing to look for victims amid the debris, after mud and rock swept through towns.

Cars were buried, buildings damaged, and people swept along in the rainstorms in which the rainfall exceeded the monthly average, meteorologists said.

There were fears that the death toll could rise, particularly in three remote parts of the island, officials said.

Madeira, located about 900km (560miles) from the Portuguese mainland, is popular with foreign tourists.



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