Thursday, October 21, 2021

Spain’s prime minister vows to rebuild the island after the eruption ends

Spain will help rebuild La Palma, where a volcanic eruption has destroyed hundreds of buildings and forced thousands to evacuate their homes, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said on Sunday, adding that the island was visited by tourists. was safe for.

Making her third visit to La Palma, one of the Atlantic Canary Islands since the eruption began on September 19, Sanchez said the government would approve 206 million euros ($239 million) in aid this week.

“Next Tuesday the cabinet will approve a package of very powerful measures” [to assist in] In areas like infrastructure reconstruction, water supply, employment, agriculture, tourism and profit,” he said at a press conference.

The Cumbre Vieja volcano has destroyed more than 900 buildings. Out of a population of about 83,000, about 6,000 people have been evacuated on the island.

“We are facing a test of resistance … because we do not know when the eruption of the volcano will end,” Sanchez said.

“Residents should know that when this is finished, the Spanish government will be there to tackle the huge task of rebuilding La Palma,” he said.

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On Sunday, thick clouds of red-hot lava and black smoke erupted from the volcano for the 15th consecutive day.

“Eruptive activity has intensified over the past hours,” the Canary Islands’ Volcanology Institute, Involcan, said in a tweet on Sunday afternoon.

Spain’s National Geographic Institute said it recorded nine earthquakes around the eruption overnight, the strongest of which was a magnitude 3.5.

The financial package is the second phase of the plan approved last week. In the first phase, the government announced 10.5 million euros ($12.2 million) in immediate aid for those who lost their homes.

Sanchez also encouraged tourists who were considering visiting La Palma not to be put off. Tourism is the main industry of the Canary Islands.

“I want to tell the tourists that this is a safe place, they can come and enjoy the island,” he said.

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