The lava emitted by the volcano of La Palma since the beginning of its eruption on September 19 covers 338.3 hectares, including the land that has gained from the sea since the night of the 28th, according to the latest update of the European satellite system for terrestrial monitoring Copernicus.
The buildings affected by magma rise to 981, of which 855 are destroyed, according to this Copernicus count, in which the affected kilometers of roads are evaluated at 29.8, of which 27.4 are destroyed.
In addition to the lava, Copernicus has measured the area occupied by the fallen ash, which extends over 1,752.8 hectares.
This update corresponds to measurements made on September 29 at 11:36 UTC, about twelve hours after the magma rushed down a cliff in the Los Guirres area and began to form a delta.
Tax exemptions for those affected
The Canary Islands Governing Council has approved a decree law by which a “zero” Canarian General Indirect Tax will be applied to the purchase of real estate and vehicles by those affected by the La Palma volcano, who will also be forgiven during this time the estate and inheritance taxes.
This was announced at the press conference after their weekly meeting by the regional vice president and finance minister, Román Rodríguez, who has estimated that these measures are suited to “exceptional circumstances” that has caused the natural phenomenon that is still active on La Palma.
Rodríguez has specified that these tax exemptions will be applied based on the capacity granted by the Statute of Autonomy of the Canary Islands and with taxes specific to the region, the Canary Islands General Indirect Tax (IGIC), or transferred by the State, such as those of heritage and documented legal acts and inheritance and donations.
Central government aid
The government of Spain plans to approve in the Council of Ministers next week the Royal Decree Law of Aid for the Canary Island of La Palma, with “new solutions” to help alleviate the situation generated by the volcanic eruption.
This was announced this Thursday in Santander by the Minister of Territorial Policy and Government Spokesperson, Isabel Rodríguez, who has underlined the “commitment” and the “will” of the central executive of, together with other Administrations, to continue helping the island and La Palma trees.
“We have put the entire government to work to see what each department can do to contribute to solving this situation, not only now in the emergency but, above all, later in the recovery, “he said.
Rodríguez has indicated that tomorrow, Friday, October 1, at 11 a.m. (peninsular time), the Mixed Commission for reconstruction, recovery and support to La Palma -which was established on Tuesday-, an appointment in which, as he explained, it is going to “specify” how the aid will be launched.
The minister recalled that last Tuesday the Council of Ministers approved the declaration of the island of La Palma as a catastrophic area and a Royal Decree was approved with which 10.5 million euros are allocated – through direct aid to the Government de Canarias- to co-finance the purchase of up to 107 homes for the relocation of people who have lost their home after the volcanic eruption and for the acquisition of basic necessities.
Rodríguez explained that it will be the Government of the Canary Islands who, with this grant, will be in charge of executing it in the territory. In the meeting of the Joint Committee will be in which sand see the details of the execution of these first grants, which “are already being transferred.”
In addition, all the ministries, and fundamentally those who are in the commission, are working on the Royal Decree Law, which “surely” will take place next week. Minister council.
The minister has warned that, although aid is being adopted, we must be “cautious” because the emergency situation “has not stopped” and, therefore, it is “difficult to make assessments”.
As reported by the Meteorology Statal Agency (Aemet), the intense trade winds that will blow in the Canary archipelago for the next two days will disperse the emissions from the La Palma volcano towards the Atlantic Ocean and guarantee air quality in populated areas.
Rubén del Campo, spokesperson for the Aemet, explained that the trade winds will blow strong and at low levels at least until the weekend, so that in the next two days “they will disperse the emissions from the volcano to the west and northwest “, dragging them toward the Atlantic.
In this way, he added, the trade winds will favor “that there are no problems with air quality in populated areas, except in the areas closest to the eruptive point on the island of La Palma.”
According to Del Campo, the intensity of the trade winds will decrease as the day progresses tomorrow, Friday, At the same time, there will be a notable increase in temperatures throughout the Canary archipelago.
For the weekend the Aemet foresees haze (African dust in suspension) in the Canary Islands and for the first days of the next one it predicts that the trade winds will blow again with force and weak drizzles will be registered in the north of the islands.
They will return to recover their belongings
The eruption of volcano, which enters its twelfth day this Thursday, continues no substantial changes since the arrival yesterday of the lava to the sea and today some neighbors will be allowed to return temporarily to their houses to collect belongings.
According to the latest situation report from the Department of National Security (DSN), published at 7:00 (local time), “since the arrival of the lava flow into the sea yesterday, there have been no substantial changes in activity volcanic “.
The laundry maintains “a continuous cascade flow” and at the base of the cliff, through which it reaches the sea, a delta is being formed that extends towards the south of the island.
In this new day of eruption the maritime and land exclusion zones around the volcano are maintained, the laundry and the arrival area to the sea, as well as the evacuation of the residents decreed last week and the confinement of the population centers of San Borondón, Marina Alta, Marina Baja and La Condesa.
However, today the return of some neighbors to collect belongings, always outside the exclusion perimeter 2.5 kilometers. Likewise, starting today, irrigators will be authorized to access their farms in El Remo, Puerto Naos and Las Hoyas for irrigation tasks.
The report recalls that the total area affected since the beginning of the eruption, on the 19th, amounts to about 476 hectares, while the damaged infrastructures reach 981; 855 in its entirety and 126 partially.
The seismicity recorded in the south of La Palma continues, in the Fuencaliente area, related in principle to the eruption of the volcano. The DSN explains that “the volcanic system, for the moment, has an open escape valve without the need to find a new way to the earth’s surface.”
The effects of lava in the sea
The long-awaited and feared arrival of the lava to the sea has caused, for now, the creation of a delta approximately half a kilometer wide, while the ocean around it has changed color from the effects of volcanic material.
Eugenio Fraile, from the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO), has told Efe from the Ramón Margalef ship, which is one kilometer away from the wash, that the lava falls quietly into the sea.
Only at the moment of contact between the volcanic material and the sea small clouds of gases are formed, which are transported by the wind, but which are quickly diluted.
Friar has explained that also a discoloration of the ocean has been found and areas in turquoise and other brown are joined, especially in the area near the lava.
He recalled that this phenomenon could already be observed ten years ago in the undersea volcanic eruption of the island of El Hierro, in which the sea was stained in various colors until the magma came out.
The scientist has detailed that in the area of the cliffs where the lava has fallen has also produced a small collapse.
Enrichment of the seabed
José Carlos Hernández, professor of marine biology at the University of La Laguna, points out that the lava is falling in an area where marine life is “quite poor” and that in the long run it will generate biological wealth.
It is about sandy bottoms in the Los Guirres beach area, in the municipality of Tazacorte, where the diversity of organisms is low.
Beyond the social drama that the eruption has caused on the island, where more than 6,000 people have been evacuated of their homes, Hernández points out that, from a scientific and once the lava cools in the sea water, it will generate a new rocky reef.
In it, intertidal areas can be created, which are of very shallow waters and in which there may be many resources such as limpets, bourgeois and octopus, and further into the water a new soil that will supplant the sandy one that existed until now.
This will create wealth, but it will take time for the lava to cool and colonize with organisms.