King Felipe and Queen Letizia fly to the island of La Palma

by Lorraine Williamson
King and Queen in the island of La Palma - twitter Ministerio del Interior

LA PALMA – Spanish Prime Minster, Pedro Sanchez has flown back early to the island of La Palma following his visit to New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

He is met by King Felipe and Queen Letizia. As well as top officials who will survey the damage caused by the volcanic eruption on the island. They are also expected to meet with some of the police and Guardia Civil involved in the operation.

Engulfed by lava

The volcano first erupted just after 3 pm on Sunday, September 19. And since then, the island has been engulfed by lava flowing towards the sea.  Thousands of people have been evacuated with hundreds losing their homes. Businesses, farms, and agriculture including banana plantations have also been lost.

Homes lost

According to El Pais, the government has committed to facilitate and speed up the availability of financial help for rebuilding work. However, the land currently being covered by lava cannot be built on or cultivated for many years to come. As such, over 70 homes in the area will be purchased by the government to help those who have lost theirs.

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Many of the roads have also been damaged in the southwest area of La Palma and have been closed as a result.

In a recent tweet, Sanchez states, “The management of the crisis on La Palma does not end when the lava reaches the sea. It will end when we rebuild all the damage caused by the eruption of the volcano. The central Executive will be there: with the island, with its citizens, and with the Government of the Canary Islands.”

A new concern is the possibility of acid rain caused by the escape of sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere. Thick ash is also covering parts of the island.

However, scientists from Copernicus assure us there is no health risk to the public from this level of toxic substances. However, as reported earlier, this may change especially if the lava reaches the sea.

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