King Felipe VI and Queen Leticia yesterday visited the Canary Island of La Palma, to meet emergency workers and residents who have been left homeless since Sunday´s volcanic eruption.
The volcano continues to spew huge amounts of lava, which is flowing down the mountainside, destroying destroying homes and communities in its path.
So far, nearly 6,000 residents have been forced to flee their homes due to the lava flow from the Cumbre Vieja.
According to the island´s authorities over 350 buildings have been engulfed by the lava which covers an area of some 166 hectares of land.
The issue of rehousing the residents, many of whom have lost their life belongings, will become a major one, as the affected properties cannot be built on again.
Speaking at a press conference at the El Fuerte army barracks, where many residents have been provided with emergency shelter, King Felipe spoke of his “solidarity, warmth and affection” which he shares with all Spaniards for the people of La Palma.
“It will cost a lot to return to normality, but La Palma will succeed,” he added.
The island´s public housing department has announced the acquisition of 280 new build homes that have been earmarked for rehousing some of the affected residents.
An initial estimate of the cost of the damage is 100 million Euros, a figure that is bound to rise as the eruptions and lava flows continue.
Just yesterday, Thursday 23rd September a series of powerful explosions were reported by the Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands (Involcán), with more expected in the coming days.
The last time the volcano erupted in 1971, the eruptions continued for around a month.