The reconstruction of La Palma one year on after the volcanic eruption

by Lorraine Williamson
La Palma one year on

A year ago on Monday was the day that the Cumbre Vieja erupted on the Spanish island of La Palma. One year on, a number of La Palma residents are still staying in hotels or with relatives because they cannot return to their own homes due to the presence of toxic gases. 

For this reason, Minister Félix Bolaños of the Spanish government announced last Monday a special measure. This will be for the inhabitants of the municipalities of Puerto Naos (980 inhabitants) and La Bombilla (750 inhabitants). A separate budget is made available for them, mainly consisting of rent subsidies. This is due to the fact they still have to stay in hotels or with family. Their homes are still intact after the eruption, but toxic gases prevent them from returning to their own homes. 

Support from Spanish and regional government 

This year, the Spanish government released €426 million for the reconstruction of the island. Together with the contributions from the regional government, the total comes to almost €600 million. The president of the Canarian government said on Monday that it is being used for the construction of new homes. This construction is progressing well because a lot of prefab houses are being used. 

On top of these amounts, the Spanish government announced on Monday that it would release an additional €6.5 million. This is for the purchase of new furniture and household goods, and will benefit 609 families. The Spanish government, together with the La Palma Reconstruction Commission, will continue to release funds to rebuild the lives of the people who lost their homes, jobs or plantations due to the volcanic eruption. 

Cogesa Expats

September 2021 versus now 

On September 19, 2021, an 86-day period began in which the Cumbre Vieja volcano erupted multiple times. The volcano destroyed a total of 4,000 buildings, including nearly 1,000 homes, 70 kilometres of roads and 350 hectares of banana plantations. 

Also read: Palma was still glowing 4 months after the end of the eruption

Although it seems that the aid is slowly getting started, the regional president of La Palma says that 21,600 inhabitants have now received government support in one way or another. A year after the eruption, unemployment has also fallen, currently there are 2,100 fewer unemployed than in September 2021. 

Also read: Money from EU Solidarity Fund

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