LA PALMA – Last Friday five months ago the volcanic eruption of the Cumbre Vieja on La Palma began. At three months, it was the longest and most destructive on record. The lava destroyed thousands of homes and buried more than 1,200 hectares.
7,000 people had to leave their houses to get themselves to safety. For a lot of them, their destiny was to never see their home again. On Christmas day Spain declared the volcanic eruption officially over. For the inhabitants of La Palma, it is still difficult to build a future. Almost everyone on the island is affected by the volcanic eruption. Rare is the person who has not been directly affected. Most of the residents at least have a family member or friend who has lost their home or business.
The affected residents say solutions are not coming at the pace they urgently need. Moreover, they want to be part of the reconstruction. They demand housing solutions and new road connections. Furthermore, they want to be able to help determine the destination of the aid from public administrations. This aid for people affected by the volcanic eruption amounts to more than €275 million.
Related post: Disaster after La Palma volcanic eruption far from over
In the meantime, administrations have received 5,342 aid application files. Of these, 4,846 (90.7%) are active, 4,227 are signed and 619 (12.8%) are pending. Despite this, according to Antena 3, the very first victims who had to leave their homes in September to flee from the lava, without being able to save anything, complain that they still have no home and that help is not arriving.
Many only received financial donations received from individuals or private organisations. Money that is not enough to buy anything because prices have increased fivefold and are unaffordable.
Record number of flights planned to island
Residents of La Palma are busy with the reconstruction of their lives. Meanwhile, airlines are planning a record number of flights to the island. They aim to exceed 2019 capacity by the summer of 2022, according to El Periódico. So finally tourist activity will resume in the coming weeks. Months after the loss of tourism on the beautiful island due to Covid and then the consequences of the volcano.
More airlines have decided to fly to the island. Partly, because of the publicity that the island has received during the volcanic eruption. Among the airlines is also Ryanair. From the summer, the Irish low-cost fighter will operate four flights a week to the island from Madrid and three from Barcelona.
Hoteliers waiting for help
The hoteliers of La Palma, therefore, rely on the return of tourism to the island but still emphasise that they need the promised immediate help. This is what Carlos García, vice president of Ashotel, said. “After the rough months of the eruption, everything is pointing to the return of flights and tour operator operations, but we still need immediate help.”
The before and after of the volcanic eruption
The National Geographic Institute has created a very complete interactive map that shows you graphically based on satellite images of how the Aridane Valley has become street by street. The map interactively shows the changes the island has undergone since the first fissure burst open on September 19, 2021. With the application, you can now also see the destructive evolution of the seismic swarm from September 11 to December 13.
¿Quieres comparar la imagen del antes y después de #ErupcionLaPalma? 🌋
En los visualizadores 2D y 3D del #IGNSpain @mitmagob creados durante la erupción de #LaPalma hemos incorporado 🆕 funcionalidades para conocer más detalles de la isla @CabLaPalma.
👉 https://t.co/dDLN4KawhE pic.twitter.com/cBZQlA4VR5
— IGN-CNIG (@IGNSpain) February 17, 2022