Spain promises help for volcano damage on La Palma as lava still flows

The Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma.
The Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma. Photo: JORGE GUERRERO / AFP
Spanish authorities have pledged to speed up delivering aid to the volcano-hit island of La Palma in the Canaries, as destruction continues over one month after eruptions began.

Part of a volcano that has been erupting for over a month collapsed on Saturday, spelling further disaster for La Palma, a Canary Island off northwest Africa.

In response, Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Saturday said the government would speed up aid to those most impacted, mainly the agriculture and fishing industries, according to reports.

Since the eruption started on September 19th, lava has covered almost 900 hectares of land, destroying over 2,000 buildings and many banana plantations.

More than 7,000 people have been displaced, while so far no-one has been killed by the continuous lava flows.

READ ALSO: Volcanic eruption on Spain’s La Palma hits one-month mark

“At the cabinet meeting next Tuesday we are going to make a budgetary modification to accelerate the arrival of economic resources for both the Employment Plan and aid for the entire agriculture and fishing sector,” Sanchez told reporters at a press conference.

The Canary Islands Volcanology Institute said that part of the main cone had collapsed on Saturday morning, while tweeting the latest developments of the volcano with video footage.

The continuing updates show that lava continues to destroy swathes of land, with no sign of stopping.

After a month of continual eruptions accompanied by minor earthquakes, geologists say they have no idea how much longer it will last.

READ ALSO: Who let the dogs out? Mystery disappearance grips Spain as La Palma volcano rages on

The volcano was putting out some 10,000 tonnes of sulphur dioxide emissions per day, and to start being considered “extinct” it should emit 400 tonnes or less per day, David Calvo, an expert with the Involcan volcanology institute, told reporters.

This is the Atlantic island’s third volcanic eruption in a century, the last one taking place in 1971.

Prime Minister Sanchez has expressed his gratitude to all those working to contain the eruption.


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