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10.5 million euros in aid for victims of the eruption in the Canaries

Spain released 10.5 million euros in direct aid on Tuesday for the victims of the volcanic eruption on the island of La Palma, in the Canaries. The money will be used in particular to buy housing for people who have seen their homes swallowed up by lava.

Some 5.5 million euros will be used to buy or rent 107 homes that “can be used immediately” by the victims, said government spokeswoman Isabel Rodriguez. The rest will be used to buy basic necessities, such as household appliances. “We must provide a rapid and effective response,” said the Minister.

6,000 people evacuated

The state of natural disaster has been declared on the island of 85,000 inhabitants, devastated for ten days by the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano. The lava flows destroyed 589 buildings and covered 258 hectares of land on the island, which mainly depends on banana cultivation and tourism.

The eruption caused no deaths but resulted in the evacuation of more than 6,000 people. This Wednesday, the lava reached the sea. Due to the ashes that fell on the island, La Palma airport had to close for twenty-four hours on Saturday. It has officially reopened but flights remain suspended.

During a visit to La Palma, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez had promised last week that the payment of this aid would be “immediate” and that they would allow in particular to restore the irrigation system on this very agricultural island. The money should also be used to rebuild roads and support people who lost their jobs because of the disaster.

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