Tuesday, October 19

Two weeks without respite on La Palma at the mercy of an unpredictable volcano

Air quality has improved this Saturday and neighborhoods at risk from the La Palma eruption have been deconfined. However, the constant explosions that erupt from the volcano do not allow residents to lower their guard. During the afternoon of this Saturday, the rumblings have followed one another, startling the population and making windows and doors shake. As every day for two weeks now, the inhabitants of the municipality of Los Llanos de Aridane gather on their terraces, broom in hand, trying to get rid of the ash. It has been thirteen days since the earth split in the Cabeza de Vaca area, but the palm trees agree that “they have not yet woken up.”

The lava burns an irrigation network on La Palma, the new wash connects with the main one and the fajana totals 27 hectares

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Two weeks in which the Palmeros have incorporated into their vocabulary concepts such as strombolian eruption, explosive and effusive phases or, more recently, fajana or low island, the platform created by lava flow after coming into contact with the ocean. And two weeks in which they have also verified that the evolution of the volcano is unpredictable, that the activity has peaks and valleys and that you never have to lower your guard. It is played, as Federico Grillo, director of Emergencies of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, said, on a chess board. “The volcano moves token, you move token; it eats you three pieces and you have to rethink your strategy again,” he summarized in an interview with the Efe agency.

Among the major victims of the eruption of this volcano are farmers, especially those linked to bananas. This same Saturday the main lava flow broke the last irrigation connection in the El Remo area. This Saturday, the original lava flow, the one that emanates from the main focus of Cabeza de Vaca, broke the last irrigation connection of El Remo. Portable desalination plants are now appearing as the emergency solution to ensure that producers do not lack water.

The eyes, meanwhile, are still on the wash that began to descend when the early morning of this Friday two other eruptive mouths were opened about 600 meters from the main cone. The scientific committee of the Canary Islands Volcanic Risk Prevention Plan (Pevolca) has indicated that it is still unknown whether this wash will continue its lateral path or will definitively join the original one. The stream that runs towards the sea has created a fajana that reached 27.7 hectares this Saturday morning.

One of the preventive measures this Saturday was to empty the fuel tanks at the gas station in the La Laguna neighborhood, in Los Llanos de Aridane. The measure was carried out by the firefighters of La Palma, Gran Canaria and agents of the Civil Guard.

880 buildings destroyed

The latest update of the European Copernicus terrestrial monitoring satellite system reflected this Saturday that the buildings affected by the runoffs represent a total of 1,005, although those that have been completely destroyed rise to 880, ten more compared to the previous count. The ash expelled by the new volcano on La Palma since the beginning of its eruption on September 19 has covered an area of ​​3,304 hectares.

In addition, the number of kilometers of roads affected increases to 30.7, of which 28.3 have been destroyed by the passage of lava. In this update, the estimate of the area occupied by lava was reduced, from 709 hectares to 367.3.

During these two weeks the solidarity of the citizenship on the island has also stood out. The Cabildo de La Palma and the 14 town councils are grateful for the samples of collaboration from the citizens, but report that the basic needs of the population affected by the eruption of the volcano are already covered, so that for now no further donations of clothing are needed and food. This Saturday, the Ministry of Social Rights has mobilized 1.2 million euros of own funds as one of the first measures aimed at the social reconstruction of the municipalities affected by the eruption of the La Palma volcano.

More tremors to the south of the island

Tampco seismic movements have stopped in these two weeks and have intensified in the southern zone. The 24-hour monitoring volcanic surveillance network of the National Geographic Institute (IGN) has registered more than 20 earthquakes since the early hours of this Saturday in the Fuencaliente area. The greatest intensity took place this Saturday at 12:45 pm in Fuencaliente at a depth of 11 kilometers. The intensity of the tremors range between magnitudes 2.1 and 3.6 and depths, from kilometer to 15.

New visit from Pedro Sánchez

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, will return to the island this Sunday to monitor the situation on the island. After meeting with the Pevolca Steering Committee, he will appear around 12:00 before the media at the Salazar Palace. Later, you will go to the hotel where some people evacuated by the volcano are staying.


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