Tuesday. 31.01.2023
CANARY ISLANDS

Further villages evacuated in La Palma as volcano becomes more active

So far, 6,000 people have been evacuated since the volcano first erupted
20 September 2021, Spain, El Paso: Smoke rises in front of a Guardia Civil official from cooling lava that has flowed over a road on the Canary island of La Palma. The volcano had become active again on Sunday for the first time in 50 years. Photo: Arturo Jiménez/dpa
Smoke rises in front of a Guardia Civil official from cooling lava that has flowed over a road on the Canary island of La Palma. Photo: Arturo Jiménez/dpa.

Spain plans to declare a state of emergency on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands, due to the ongoing volcanic eruption that has already destroyed hundreds of homes there.

A further vent in the volcano broke open on Friday and began to spew lava, prompting officials to evacuate 1,000 residents from the villages of Tajuya and Tacande, state broadcaster RTVE reported.

So far, 6,000 people have been evacuated since the volcano first erupted, on an island of some 83,000 inhabitants.

The Spanish government plans to designate the island a disaster zone and to draw up a comprehensive reconstruction plan, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Friday.

The Cabinet is due to approve the disaster zone designation on Tuesday, along with expanded aid and plan for rebuilding.

"The situation on the island requires exceptional measures," Sanchez said.

The volcano in the Cumbre Vieja nature park has been spewing ash, rock fragments and lava at around 1,000 degrees Celsius since Sunday.

Destruction

Banana plantations, roads and power lines have also been destroyed, though there have been no reports of injuries so far.

The lava has destroyed some 400 buildings in its path as it flowed towards the sea. One house in the village of El Paraiso, however, was miraculously spared as the lava flow divided around it.

The Canarian-style house belongs to a retired couple from Denmark, the Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported. The couple are both in their 80s and have not visited the island since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are relieved that it is still standing. At some point we will be able to enjoy the house again. Or we will leave it to our three children," the couple said in tears.

Further villages evacuated in La Palma as volcano becomes more active
Comments