Red Cross May 2008

China earthquakeTens of thousands of people have been killed or injured by the devastating earthquake that struck south west China on 12 May. Many more have lost their homes and the death toll continues to rise.

The epicentre of the 7.9 magnitude quake was Wenchuan County in Sichuan Province, with another seven provinces affected. Tremors were felt as far away as the capital Beijing.

A number of heavily populated areas have been badly hit. In the town of Beichuan, 80 per cent of buildings are reported to have collapsed, including several schools, burying children and teachers under piles of rubble. The nearby town of Mianzhu, which has a population of 60,000, was also seriously affected. Read more

Armona island, Portugal – May 2008

southern beachJust off the Algarve coast, a mere 10 minute ferry ride from Olhão, lies the picturesque little island of Armona, one of a small group of islands that form part of the Ria Formosa National Park.

You can get to Armona easily by ferry or Rio Taxi. The ferry costs Euro 1.45 each way and takes around 10 minutes. It can get quite cool and breezy during the crossing at this time of year so it’s best to carry a thin jacket or to sit below deck. Read more

Olhao, Portugal – May 2008

Olhao churchThe main fishing port of the Algarve, Olhao is a bustling little town of interesting architecture and pretty, cobbled back streets.
It got it’s township status in the 17th century after 17 local fishermen successfully crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 1808 in the fishing boat “Bom Sucesso” (Good Success) without charts. They made this perilous voyage in order to inform the exiled king of Portugal, Dom João IV, that he could return to his country as the invading French armies had been defeated.
In 1882 the first canning factory was established here for tuna and Sardines. This was the first in Portugal and it wasn’t long before canning became the leading industry of the Algarve. Read more

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