Saturday 10/16/21
AID PACKAGE

Madrid approves aid worth millions for volcano-struck island La Palma

Volcanologists could not say how long it would remain active. It could take months, they said
10/05/2021. The Minister of Territorial Policy and Government spokesperson, Isabel Rodríguez, and the Minister of the Presidency, Relations with the Courts and Democratic Memory, Félix Bolaños, have appeared in the Moncloa press room after the meeting of the Council of Ministers. Photo: La Moncloa.
Minister of Territorial Policy and Government spokesperson Isabel Rodríguez (R), and Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños. Photo: La Moncloa.

The Spanish government has approved an aid package totalling 213.7 million euros (248 million dollars) for the Canary island of La Palma, which has been badly hit by a volcanic eruption.

The decree passed by the Council of Ministers in Madrid on Tuesday is intended for "urgent measures" for the "social and economic reconstruction" of the Atlantic island off the west coast of Africa, the Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced.

Last week, Madrid had already approved a first aid programme of 10.5 million euros.

The volcano was still active on Tuesday, 16 days after the initial eruption.

Although the volcanic cone had partially collapsed on Monday and the lava flow towards the sea increased as a result, the molten rock, which has a temperature of more than 1,000 degrees Celsius, continued to flow downhill along the same path as before.

Further evacuations were therefore not necessary. About 6,000 people have had to leave their homes so far.

Damages

According to the latest official data, the lava has destroyed 1,046 buildings since the beginning of the eruption.

It has also caused extensive damage to agriculture and infrastructure. An area of about 420 hectares was covered by a metre-thick layer of lava.

The volcano in the south of the island of La Palma, which is less well-known to tourists than other Canary Islands such as Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria or Lanzarote, erupted on September 19 for the first time in 50 years.

Volcanologists could not say how long it would remain active. It could take months, they said.

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