Saturday, October 23

Material and emotional help for La Palma

“I no longer have a home or a job …”, stammered days ago, on the verge of tears and in front of the television cameras, a middle-aged woman, a victim of the La Palma volcano. And later, no longer able to hold back the tears: “Neither home nor work … not a single photo of my children when they were little.”

With its eruption on September 19 and its endless rivers of lava that followed, the Cumbre Vieja has caused enormous material damage – it has already had nearly 600 buildings destroyed and buried, most of them inhabited houses; more than 200 hectares burned; banana plantations or grapevines destroyed …– and it has also caused immense emotional damage, irreparable.

The traditional capital available to each person (economic capital –in money or goods of all kinds–, cultural capital –training and accumulated experience– and social capital –relationships, contacts, agenda–, We should also add emotional capital, as important as those and probably the most difficult to measure and repair and at the same time the irreplaceable, the most personal, the most humane. It will take more or less time, but, thanks to public aid And to the solidarity that their misfortune has unleashed throughout Spain, the victims of the volcano will once again have a home and a job. What is more difficult for them to recover are the memories, emotions, personal experiences directly linked to the house that is also He has brought the lava. Not only family photos, but also many other images recorded only in memory and related to a wall, a ceiling, a lamp, a table, a garden, a bed …

The unity, harmony and coordination of public administrations is one of the few positive things that the volcano has left. And look at it was difficult, because at the different levels of the public administrations that have intervened, a multitude of party acronyms participate, including some that in other territories and circumstances are incompatible. El Paso, one of the most affected municipalities, has a mayor from the Canary Islands Coalition. Los Llanos de Aridane, mayor of the PP. Tazacorte, from Nueva Canarias. The presidency of the Island Council of La Palma is in the hands of the PP, which achieved it with the support of the PSOE. The Canarian autonomous government is led by the PSOE in coalition with other formations to its left: Sí Podemos, Nueva Canarias and the Gomera Socialist Group. In the Government of Spain, as is known, there are two partners: a majority, the PSOE, and a minority, United We can.

The evacuation of the population, the control of the washings, the different logistical and assistance operations have been carried out with exemplary speed and order. There has been no personal injury to regret. Also thanks to science, which, since before the eruption, had been warning of what could happen, also with a high degree of success. The aid, the equipment, the support for the victims should also be quick and effective, and they should not get bogged down in bureaucratic entanglements when the media focus and the general public attention move away from La Palma. And they should include psychological support for those thousands of palm trees who have also lost a good part of their emotional capital throughout their lives.



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