The Spanish government has declared the Canary Island of La Palma a disaster zone and pledged millions in support after continuous and intense volcanic activity on the island, which sits off the North African coast. Spokesperson Isabel Rodriguez reported that the government had already allocated a preliminary package of €10.5 million (€5 million to buy houses and the rest, to purchase furniture and essential household goods after thousands of people had to be relocated).
It is specified that lava keeps flowing from the Cumbre Vieja volcano on which fissures first opened on September 19 after decades of inactivity, destroying almost 600 houses as well as churches and banana plantations on the Canary Island. There are also concerns that the lava could create clouds of toxic hydrochloric acid vapour if it reaches the sea and reports on Tuesday assumed it’s just 800 meters from the sea already.
Even though many people have been relocated, also many remain in coastal villages in anticipation of the molten flow reaching the Atlantic Ocean. Three villages were locked down on Monday in expectation, with residents told to keep windows closed and stay indoors. To date, no fatalities or serious injuries have been reported.
“We are still waiting on whatever the volcano wants to do,” Miguel Angel Morcuende, director of the Pevolca response committee said.