Spain promises to help island La Palma recover from volcano

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The Spanish government has pledged to help the island of La Palma recover from the devastation brought by its erupting volcano.

Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez made the commitment on Sunday during a visit to the island. The Cumbre Vieja volcano continues to spew red-hot lava and thick clouds of black smoke more than two weeks after it began erupting and officials said the explosive activity has intensified.

The Volcanology Institute of the Canary Islands Involcan said, “A clear increase in effusive activity has been observed in the last few minutes.

“The volcano emitted a loud booming noise and lava exploded with force from its crater.”

Sanchez said earlier on Sunday that the government would approve 206 million euros ($239m) of aid funding this week.

“Next Tuesday, the cabinet will approve a package of very powerful measures to assist in areas such as infrastructure reconstruction, water supply, employment, agriculture, tourism and benefits.”

The Cumbre Vieja volcano has destroyed more than 900 buildings. About 6,000 people have been evacuated from homes on the island out of a population of about 83,000.

“We are facing a test of resistance because we do not know when the eruption of the volcano will end,” Sanchez added.

“What residents should know is that when it does end, the government of Spain will be there to tackle the enormous task of rebuilding La Palma.”

Sanchez also encouraged tourists who were considering visiting La Palma not to be put off. Tourism is the Canary Islands’ main industry.

“I would like to let tourists know that this is a safe place, they can come and enjoy the island,” he said.

Kamila/Reuters

 

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