The volcanic eruption, which began on Sept. 19 on La Palma island, which lies off the Atlantic coast of North Africa, has severely impacted the island, especially the airlines.
No deaths have been recorded on the island of 85,000 people so far, with more than 7,000 residents being evacuated and several buildings swallowed up by the hot lava flow.
AS News has stated that over 1,065 hectares of land, and over 2,650 buildings were ruined by the lava flow.
Flights in the Spanish-owned Canaries archipelago, off the Atlantic coast of North Africa, have been affected for the first time in 50 years. On Saturday, a Spanish airport spokesman announced 20 national flight cancelations due to the Cumbre Vieja volcano’s ash, as Dailymail reported.
Serious impact from the eruption
Following the San Juan volcano in 1949 and the Teneguia in 1971, La Palma’s island witnessed its third eruption in a century. According to scientists, the lastest one could take up to three months before settling down.
The Cumbre Vieja volcano is rated at alert level 3. Meanwhile, as AS News reported, La Palma has experienced earthquakes, with the largest registered at 5.1 magnitude on Friday morning, Nov. 20.
According to the region’s estimation on Friday, approximately 900 million euros ($1 billion) were lost as Provisional damage, reports the Dailymail.
The La Palma island’s flight cancelation
Following the first flight cancelation that happened earlier this month on Nov. 3, the island now experiences another all-flights cancelation, with many tourists who flocked to the island to capture the eruption having to now wait in long queues to leave the island.
The passengers consider their trips as a way to partially contribute to the badly affected local economy. They have been all aware that flight cancelations may occur; they, however, didn’t let it prevent them from traveling.
In Patricia Privado’s eyes, a Madrid resident, 30, the erupting volcano earlier this month has embodied “a spectacle of nature.” Similarly, another passenger named Leon Pena, 65 from Fuerteventura’s neighbor island, has referred to what he saw as ‘something unique.’
Patricia Privado said: “It is worth it,” “To hear it roar, to see how the lava falls. You have to experience it.”
Spanish government’s aid on the impacted
Residents were raising questions on financial aid promised by Spain.
In response to the request, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has declared new assistance for the island’s economy and infrastructure, which relies particularly on tourism and banana cultivation.
In October, the government committed to aid of 225 million euros. Some 21 million euros of that has already been spent by the beginning of November.
Another risk from the volcano eruption
The lava’s second stream has created gas released into the air. The fact that toxic gas is possible has raised more concerns from the island residents suffering from the constant roar and numerous earthquakes resulting from the eruption.
Earlier, authorities had expressed concern that the combination of the superheated lava and seawater could release powerful explosions and emit toxic gas clouds.
However, unlike the first eruption over a month ago when lava reached the ocean, citizens are now not forced to stay indoors because they are far away from the contact point at sea, according to an emergency services spokesperson interview with Reuters. The affected area, used primarily for banana plantations, has only a few people.
Fortunately, on Tuesday, La Palma’s council stated that the toxic sulfur dioxide emissions and seismic activity around the eruption site had reduced. In most parts of the island, the air quality remained good.