La Palma’s president, Mariano Hernandez Zapata, admitted on Wednesday that the 60-day eruption of Cumbre Vieja was the “worst” in the island’s recent history.
In a meeting with reporters to assess the authorities’ actions, Zapata also thanked the island’s residents, stressing that he acted “with persistence even though he lost everything at times.”
Hernandez Zapata also highlighted the numerous expressions of support amounting to more than seven million euros in solidarity donations “which made us feel the affection of many people from outside the island”.
These donations, in amounts between two thousand and three thousand euros per family unit, are distributed through the unified registry established by the Government of the Canary Islands, which allows the distribution of aid with a minimum contribution of documents by the victims.
Zapata is aware that the affected population is calling for more rapid distribution of direct assistance and noted the “smooth and positive” communication he maintains with the various associations of current victims, through several weekly meetings.
The President of the island of La Palma highlighted the various measures in sectors such as agriculture, tourism, infrastructure and social services, which “after 60 days of joint action by all departments, it will now be necessary to face an unfavorable future that will be easy”.
Zapata thanked the many organizations, governmental and non-governmental – such as Caritas or the Red Cross – that provided assistance and services to the islanders.
Although Zapata recognized the difficulty of acting in the face of “this exceptional situation”, he highlighted the unity of action of all public administrations, both at the local and state levels, and the constant cooperation between them.
The eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano has already caused the destruction of 866.1 hectares and the destruction of more than two thousand buildings on the island, where earthquakes continue to occur frequently.
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