By Deirdre Tynan • 21 September 2021 • 13:59
Image: La Moncloa
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has visited the reception centre for people affected by the the Cumbre Viejo volcano eruption.
Hundreds of the island’s residents are being housed in the El Fuerte barracks, which has been loaned by the Ministry for Defence for accommodation.
During his visit, Sanchez was accompanied by the Minister for Home Affairs, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, the president of the Canary Islands, Angel Víctor Torres, the president of the City Hall of La Palma, Mariano Hernandez, the government delegate in the Canary Islands, Anselmo Pestana, and officials from the Red Cross and the Canary Islands Health Service.
At least 166 buildings and more than 100 hectares of land have been destroyed.
Scores of homes and at least one school have been obliterated by three lava flows from the mouth of Cumbre Vieja volcano. At least 103 hectares of farm land have also been destroyed.
Further destruction is expected as the lava moves more slowly than predicted towards the sea.
Twenty schools in volcano hit La Palma have been suspended until further notice and other facilities are at risk.
The schools include educational centres in El Paso, Los Llanos de Aridane and Tazacorte.
Lava has also destroyed the Los Campitos school, which has 23 students enrolled, and it threatens the Todoque school, which has 25 school places.
Although the lava was expected to reach the coast in the evening on September 20, it has yet to do so and scientists warn that it may occur today.
When that happens, explosions and toxic gas are expected to engulf the area. However, acid rain is looking less likely now, experts said.
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Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.
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