Europe

Spain pledges $239M to help volcano-hit island

Nearly 1,000 buildings destroyed on Spanish island of La Palma since Cumbre Vieja volcano erupted 2 weeks ago

Alyssa McMurtry   | 03.10.2021
Spain pledges $239M to help volcano-hit island

OVIEDO, Spain 

Spain will send €206 million ($239 million) to the island of La Palma to help its residents recover from the ongoing volcanic eruption, the country’s prime minister said on Sunday.

Streams of lava, now covering nearly 400 hectares, have destroyed 946 buildings on the island and damaged hundreds more, according to latest data.

The volcano has cut off water to key agricultural areas, melted parts of vital highways, and released toxic gases into the air.

Of the small island’s 85,000 residents, around 6,000 have been evacuated from their homes.

“We are here to take on the enormous task of rebuilding La Palma and offer a horizon of prosperity, progress, and calm,” Sanchez told reporters during his third visit to the island since the eruption started two weeks ago.

He said the millions in aid will go toward rebuilding infrastructure, water supply, employment, agriculture, and tourism.

The package is set to be approved on Tuesday and the money will be sent over as soon as possible.

The Cumbre Vieja volcano, which had not erupted for 50 years, continues to violently spew ash, smoke, and lava.

On Sunday afternoon, the Canary Islands Volcanology Institute said the explosive activity was intensifying.

Although experts were able to predict that the volcano would erupt, they are unsure when it will end.

A long river of lava continues to flow into the ocean and solidify.

It has so far added around 27 hectares to the size of the small Atlantic island, the Spanish National Research Council said on Sunday.​​​​​​​

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