July 15, 2024

Canary Islands: “The fire is out of control” – hundreds of people have had to leave their homes

Canary Islands: “The fire is out of control” – hundreds of people have had to leave their homes

Canary Islands

“The fire is out of control” – hundreds of people had to leave their homes

Hundreds of people had to flee flames on the island, which witnessed a month-long volcanic eruption in 2021. Weather conditions are not in the hands of firefighters, but they remain hopeful.

updated

Huge fires are currently raging in La Palma.

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  • In 2021, thousands are evacuated from La Palma due to a volcanic eruption.

  • Fires are now raging on the island, which has already destroyed several homes.

  • Hundreds of people have already been moved to safety.

During the evacuation process due to a forest fire on the Canary island of La Palma, about 500 people had to leave their homes. The regional president of Spain’s Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo, said on Saturday that at least 11 homes were also destroyed in a relatively small area of ​​1.4 square kilometers that had burned until then.

Wind makes fighting fires difficult

“With the resources we provide, we hope we can control the fire today, but the winds are changing,” Clavigo said. The flame is currently “out of control”. More winds are expected, accompanied by a dry terrain and less precipitation, the situation is “complicated”. According to the information, the fire broke out on the western side of La Palma in a mountainous and forested area where there are many homes. This area was not directly affected by the volcanic eruption in 2021.

The Spanish army deployed 150 of its firefighters to help local teams fight the fire. Clavijo said other firefighters from the area were brought in by boat from the neighboring island of Tenerife.

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There is not enough rain for years

Puntagorda Mayor Vicente Rodriguez told RTVE that the fire started within his municipal boundaries. The region has had below-average rainfall in recent years, as has much of the drought-stricken region of Spain, based on shifting weather patterns as a result of climate change.

The fire also coincided with a heat wave in southern Europe. Last year and this spring, Spain experienced record temperatures. Authorities and forest experts worry that the conditions could encourage a number of fires that are difficult to fight. The country was already battling virulent wildfires in March.

La Palma has a population of approximately 85,000 people. The Canary Islands are located off the west coast of Africa. The islands are closest to Morocco at the point closest to the mainland at about 100 kilometers.

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(DPA/bho)View comments