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Last Updated: Sunday February 21 2010 15:48 GMT

In pictures: Holiday island hit by floods

Floodwaters in Funchal, Madeira

Floods and mudslides are thought to have killed at least 40 people as heavy rainstorms hit the Portuguese island of Madeira.

Mud and water rushing down a street in Funchal

Tonnes of mud and stones went tumbling down the island's slopes as torrential rains flooded the capital, Funchal, and several other towns.

A flooded street in Funchal

Lots of people were rescued from the raging flood waters in the main city of Funchal but several people, including some Britons, had to be taken to hospital.

Cars swept away in Madeira floods

The flooding and landslides swept away cars, cut off power supplies and damaged phone lines.

Flooded street in Funchal, 20 February 2010

Hundreds of people in Funchal have been left homeless as homes and businesses have been badly damaged.

Flood waters rushing towards the port in Funchal, 20 February 2010

Madeira is about 625 miles from Portugal's capital city Lisbon, and is a popular holiday destination for tourists.

A resident looks on as flood waters fill a canal in downtown Funchal

Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates has said he'll do all he can to help. The Portuguese military has already sent specialist rescue teams to the island.

A flooded street in Funchal

In the meantime, fire crews have been using dinghies to help rescue people.