The Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, yesterday, Sunday 3rd October, flew back to the Canary Island of La Palma, pledging a recovery package to the battered island.
His visit, the third since the volcano erupted two weeks ago, comes with no let up to the eruptions in sight, which continue to spew molten lava and thick clouds of toxic ash.
So far, the lava flows from the Cumbre Vieja volcano range have destroyed over 900 buildings and forced over 7,000 people to flee their homes – many with minutes to spare as the lava engulfed their communities. Some 400 hectares of land has now been consumed by the lava.
The evacuated residents are being houses in emergency shelters and sports centres across the island.
Many of the remaining 85,000 residents face movement restrictions and disruption to their daily lives.
Arriving at the island´s airport yesterday, Sanchez announced a reconstuction package of 206 million Euros to complement the already 10.5 million Euros announced for emergency aid.
He told emergency workers that the money will be used to rebuild crucial infrastructure, destroyed by the eruptions including roads, irrigation systems and buildings.
The regional leader of the Canary Islands, Ángel Victor Torres said that the volcano had so far released 80 million cubic meters of lava, which he pointed out is double the amount that was released during the last eruption in 1971 – that was continued for for over a month.
The lava flow has destroyed everything in its path and is now flowing directly into the Atlantic Ocean, some 6 kms from the volcano , where it has created a 28 hectare peninsula – which continues to grow.
Despite the ongoing eruptions and damage to property, no casualties have been reported.