Wednesday, November 30

Evacuees from the La Palma volcano return home: “The feeling is bittersweet”

The feeling is “bittersweet” and of “emotional impact”. Some have been able to return to their homes this Monday, others will do so in the coming days and many will never be able to return home because they are buried under lava. Nothing is the same, the landscape has changed; There is no medical office, no supermarket, no gas station, no church … The Aridane Valley has been wounded forever. The destructive lava flows from the volcano that erupted on September 19, at 3:12 p.m., on the west slope of Cumbre Vieja, in Cabeza de Vaca, in El Paso, have marked a before and after in the history of La Palma .

These are the areas affected by the La Palma eruption that will be accessible this Monday

These are the areas affected by the La Palma eruption that will be accessible this Monday

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Carmen and José Ángel, once this Sunday the Canary Islands Volcanic Risk Prevention Plan (Pevolca) agreed to lift the evacuations from various areas affected by the eruption, they returned this Monday to their home in La Laguna, a neighborhood of Los Llanos de Aridane, which was severely punished for the lava flows. Equipped with an FPP2 mask, they have followed the established protocol for home ventilation to avoid inhaling toxic gases that can be lethal in a few minutes. “We are excited and happy”, they have assured, although they do not hide their bewilderment when looking around and contemplating an unrecognizable landscape.

Yesenia, along with her father, Tomás, and her son Pablo, have also been able to return to their home in La Laguna. In general, all evacuees feel the same way. “It is a bittersweet taste, because we have been able to return, but others have not yet been able to, and there are also those who will never be able to return,” says Yesenia.

Marta Resi is one of those who will never be able to inhabit her home in La Laguna again because between October 12 and 13 the lava buried her. Since September 19, he has been residing with some friends and this Monday he has been able to return to a farm that he owns in Las Martelas, in Los Llanos de Aridane, where he plans to build his house and start a new life.

Between 900 and 1,000 people have been able to return to their homes this Monday after considering the Pevolca that they are in “safe areas”, but still 564 are staying in hotels and 40 in social health centers on the island.

The technical director of Pevolca, Miguel Ángel Morcuende, has indicated that these areas meet safe conditions for the return of their inhabitants and has specified that 345 hectares are released from the northern part of the eruption that until now remained evacuated.

The areas in which the return of its inhabitants has been allowed are, on the north side, from the kilometer point of the San Nicolás highway, LP-212, in a straight line to point 44.41 of the Tamanca general highway , LP-202. From this point in a straight line to the fork in the Los Llanos de Aridane and Fuencaliente road and from there to the fork in the El Morro del Cabrito road and to the west 500 meters along the Cruz Chica road. The area in which the evacuation is being lifted continues in a northwesterly direction until the junction of the LP-213 on the Los Barretos road. The lifting of evacuations continues in a westerly direction to the road to Las Martelas de Abajo, north of the nucleus of La Laguna, and continues south to the mountain of La Laguna, surrounding it from the north to the coastline with the sea . To the south, it is released from the north of kilometer 37.5 of the Jedey general highway (LP2) and road 210 is closed. The nucleus that is released at first is the evacuation of El Charco, but the new low demarcation to Jedey.

The Pevolca has warned that in case people suffer dizziness, shortness of breath or strength or nausea they should leave the house and notify the emergency services. Likewise, they must notify the city council of the presence of bulges, deformations or cracks in the home.