The helmet of Los Llanos de Aridane dawned yesterday like an hourglass smashed against the ground. The picón rain propelled by the volcano spread a blanket of pyroclasts, ash and volcanic slag from Cumbre Vieja that pulverized gardens, orchards and roofs. The daily scene of the Plaza de España was transformed into a swarm of umbrellas on the sandy slide in a new pulse against normality in this urban lung of the island.
But its greatest damage fell, above all, on the numerous fabric greenhouses that, in many cases, did not withstand the weight of igneous rocks and basalts and collapsed on the crops. “Greenhouses will tear you down if you are not up all the time shaking the earth”, said Ismael, from Tacande Abajo, which is dedicated to the treatment and packaging of bananas. «I have it easier because my wife is now in the house, but those who have to take pa ‘Fuencaliente pa’ watering I don’t know if it can hold them and less if now it begins to calm down », he adds.
If the first prevention resource that ran out on the island during the first days of the eruption were goggles to prevent eye contact with the ash, the main demand is now for leaf blowers to be able to clear tiles and roofs, since the persistence of the sand rain favors the accumulation and damages the structures of the houses.
And so, between continuous brushing and buckets of water, the announcement that fell like one of ice water on the valley was the birth of that new double mouth, with two streams that, at an interval of 15 meters, run under two parallel ravines in westbound por the Callejón de La Gata.
This new lava flow, with a more liquid and faster influx than previous flows, crosses the LP-2 highway and points to the heart of La Laguna, a residential neighborhood of Los Llanos de Aridane with numerous houses on the route to Puerto Naos, a town that remains completely isolated since the lava sectioned the road at its mouth to the sea. The unique case of La Laguna, the seventh most populated nucleus in the municipality, is that it was built in one of the first neighborhoods to be evicted after the eruption – first, for safety; later, as a prevention system against gases-, and then it was one of the first that could be rehabbed because it was out of danger.
The center of Los Llanos woke up with a blanket of pyroclasts, ash and volcanic slag
Now this neighborhood They are delimited by Tajuya, to the east, and by Tazacorte, to the west, he once again sheltered himself against fear and to take extreme precautions in the face of the uncertain paths of the lava. At the moment, there is no evacuation order, since the lava flows have not reached the area of El Pedregal, the prelude to La Laguna, although it has razed numerous homes and plantations as they pass along this new path.
However, the eruption of Cumbre Vieja already fractured the daily routine of La Laguna from the first day, since its access by the Puerto Naos Highway, passing the Casa Kiko restaurant and the Arepera El Rinconcito, is cut off at the first intersection from the town, next to the Church of San Isidro Labrador. The only open place on the other side of the barrier is the pharmacy in the middle of the sandy desert, but the authorities demand to present the health card to be able to cross. The supermarket has even been closed for more than a week.
Faced with this scenario of paralysis, explosions and roars, many families in La Laguna have chosen to stay in the homes of relatives in the center of Los Llanos or in El Paso, while others have preferred to leave the island to get away from the stress caused by the constant howl of the earth.
The greatest damage from the picón rain falls on the crops, which collapse
This is the case of Jacobo, who lives in a rental apartment at the end of Calle Real, in the center of Los Llanos. On the third day of broadcasts, he settled in his family home in La Laguna and booked two boat tickets for his parents, aged 73 and 76, bound for Tenerife. This was not healthy for them, he muses. “When they return they will have to face the fact that the island is no longer the same, that many of their neighbors and colleagues have lost everything, and that this can last for months,” he explains. “But now, rest and save this misfortune live.”
On the contrary, a lineage of classical roots in La Palma corresponds to the «women of the house», such as Ana Laura, a widow and mother of three daughters, who, at 87 years of age, lives alone in her usual home in La Palma. upper part of La Laguna, almost bordering El Paso. “They don’t even take me out of my house with brandy,” he says on the way to church, although, at the request of his daughters, he has not unpacked the small suitcase he packed on the first day of the outbreak, with some essential items.
However, they say on this side of Los Llanos that “what is not known in the La Laguna bar is not known anywhere” and that is that the Central Bar, an old roadside joint located next to the bus stop, opposite to the church, concentrates all the whispers and latest news from the neighborhood, from this one and the other, because here everyone knows each other. «Do you know José Manuel, the one who lives up there, that the new house was finished the other week? Well, that was washed away by the lava ». And wait for the new laundry not to take Fridolino’s, which is above La Lechera. Hopefully not”.
The new round invites a new toast to those who lost everything and many cannot bear the repeated images of the broken island. At the exit, Ana Laura looks straight ahead at the column of smoke that emerges weightlessly over the messy roof tiles of the Central and sighs: «Do you think the lava gets here? He has already taken San Pío de Todoque. I say that he will not dare with two saints ».