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280 new houses to be bought for La Palma evacuees as Volcano continues to erupt

280 new houses to be bought for La Palma evacuees as Volcano continues to erupt

The ‘Cumbre Vieja’ volcano eruption, in El Paso ,on the island of La Palma, has now covered a total of 180.1 hectares since the eruption began last Sunday, September 19, having destroyed 390 buildings so far, as well as 14 kilometres of roads, according to reports from the EU’s Copernicus program satellite monitoring facility.

The director of Spain’s National Geographic Institute (IGN) in the Canary Islands, María José Blanco, explained on Thursday that the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma continues to be explosive, but the surface deformations are moving a stable speeds and at a low level of seismicity, pointing out that one lava flow has practically stopped -the one facing north-, while the other one is advancing “very slowly”, at about 4 meters per hour, which is expected as the molten rock moves away from the eruption, as it must also drag the previously laid down material, part of it cold, as it attempts to adapt to the topography of the terrain.

Blanco added that the lava front is about 500 meters wide and in some sections, at a height of 12 metres, with a column of gases from the volcano that has reached 4,500 meters in altitude.

The Copernicus program, coordinated through the National Centre for Monitoring and Coordination of Emergencies (CENEM), is monitoring to work with national alert networks, in any potential risk situations, incidents and emergencies in the field of civil protection.

La Palma remains on red alert, in an emergency situation, and the eruption continues.

280 new homes

The Government of the Canary Islands, through the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Housing, announced on Thursday the planned purchase of 280 houses to accommodate families who have lost their homes due to the eruption of the La Palma volcano.

Of that total, 257 homes are newly built, finished or about to be completed, and the remaining 23, from a new development the Canarian Housing Institute (ICAVI), is just finishing in the municipality of El Paso, that it will give up in order to assist in the housing emergency.

Councillor Sebastián Franquis pointed out, in a statement, that the public company Visocan is conducting an analysis on the ground to locate and contact all the owners of empty homes on the island right now.

As a result of this work, it has been determined that a first batch of just over one hundred homes can be bought and made available to affected residents by the end of October.

In addition, Visocan staff have also located a dozen more developments that could add at least 150 other homes, which feasibly could be available by the end of the year or early 2022.

Franquis indicated that contacts with the owners of semi-finished and finished houses “the most immediate housing emergency can be faced, although the reality must be measured week by week.”

For this reason, his department will continue to search for housing and if the number of homeless increases, it will launch “other alternatives that we already have.”

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