Home LATEST NEWS La Palma volcano eruption in Spain officially over

La Palma volcano eruption in Spain officially over

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Today, the scientific committee can say it […], the rash is over, Julio Pérez, director of the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (PEVOLCA), announced at a press conference on Saturday.

There is no lava, no significant gas emissions, no significant earthquakes, listed the manager, recalling that this rash lasteddays and 8hours “,” text “:” 85days and 8hours “}} ‘>85 days and eight hours between September 19 and December 13.

It took ten consecutive days without any clear sign of volcanic activity, a time required according to scientific experts, to be able to say that the eruption was over, while the end of the eruption was felt several times before the volcanic activity each time resumes a few days later, to the dismay of the inhabitants of the island.

This is, tweeted Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, the best Christmas present […]. We will continue to work together, with all institutions, to revive the wonderful island of La Palma and repair the damage caused.

Now Cumbre Vieja is in lethargy, its lava torrents are black, frozen, hardened, and a layer of black sand – ash – has settled like a veil over the place.

It will take years, even a decade, to clean up, clear away, rebuild and reclaim this disfigured land.

The end of the eruption does not mean that there is no more danger, warned Julio Pérez, adding that the risks and dangers remain. There will still be emissions of toxic gases and the lava will take a long time to cool, not to mention the risk of land collapse.

The volcanic activity is inscribed in the history of La Palma which, like the six other islands of the Canary archipelago (located in the Atlantic Ocean, off the northwest coast of Africa), is of volcanic origin.

However, it was the longest eruption the island has known and the first in 50 years, after those of the San Juan volcano in 1949 and Teneguia in 1971.

Heavy damage on an enlarged island

Despite its duration and the impressive images of the molten lava flows, the eruption did not kill anybody, but it caused enormous damage: more than 7000 people were evacuated, of which approximately 500 still live in hotels. , and nearly 3,000 buildings were destroyed.

Lava covered 1219 hectares of the island’s area and even made it … larger: the flows that reached the sea solidified and gave rise to two peninsulas, adding 43.5 hectares to the south and 5 ha in the north, according to data provided by local authorities on Saturday.

At the height of the episode, the volcano spat out thousands of gallons of lava, producing bubbling, fluorescent flows that rolled down the mountain, all in a constant roar.

The 83,000 inhabitants of La Palma will not forget the earthquakes, nor the ash rains, nor the toxic gases or the smoke which escaped from the cone of the volcano, which obliged them to seal themselves, sometimes for several days.

The volcano spits lava in the evening.

At the height of the eruption, the volcano spat out thousands of liters of lava.

Photo: Getty Images / DESIREE MARTIN

Sunken villas or buildings, roads disappearing under lava flows and spectacular jets of salt water when the lava entered the sea: the activity of the volcano has punctuated Spanish television news for weeks on end.

In total: three months of paralysis, with regular air traffic interruptions and the closure of La Palma airport, on this small island heavily dependent on tourism.

The lava has also done a lot of harm to plantations, spread over the 70,000 hectares of the island, of bananas, the other key sector of the local economy, since it represents 50% of its gross domestic product.

The damage could amount to more than 1.3 billion dollars, local authorities estimated on Saturday.

The Spanish government has pledged around $ 326 million in aid, including building housing and purchasing basic necessities, as well as providing direct subsidies to farmers and fishermen.

Madrid also called on the European Commission to activate the European Union solidarity fund.

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