Nearly 1000 evacuated people are set to return to La Palma

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Nearly 1000 evacuated people are set to return to La Palma
Credit: Involcan

Nearly 1000 evacuated people are set to return to La Palma after the authorities have decided that some areas are now safe.

On Sunday, the Canary Islands Volcanic Risk Prevention Plan, Pevolca, decided that many residents of the island will be able to return to their homes from Monday morning, January 3. The decision will affect between 900 and 1,000 residents who were previously evacuated to safety after the volcano began erupting.

According to Miguel Ángel Morcuende the technical director of Pevolca, 345 hectares of land that had previously had residents evacuated from is now considered to be safe to return to.

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Morcuende advised returning residents that they should not access below ground levels including storerooms, basements and garages without gas measurements being taken. Residents have been advised to contact the authorities if gas readings are required.

The authorities have also recommended that residents be accompanied when they enter their homes. Homes should be ventilated for a minimum of 15 minutes before residents turn on the electricity to ensure their safety.

Morcuende highlighted that anyone suffering from dizziness, nausea, lack of strength or shortness of breath after entering a property should leave the house quickly and call the emergency services.


Residents have also been warned that they should contact the local council if they discover any cracks, bulges or other issues when re-entering their homes.

The clean-up operation will be massive and people have been warned to protect their eyes, skin and respiratory tract when cleaning up ash.

Morcuende commented that other areas cannot be reopened to residents until they have been deemed safe. More than 550 people are still living in hotels and another 40 people are being taken care of in social and health centres on La Palma.


 


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Alex Glenn is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News. Formerly she worked in the NHS for 15 years until relocating to Spain in 2018. She loves the Spanish lifestyle, language and culture and spent several years learning Spanish before moving to Spain for a better quality of life. She has made her home in the mountains in Almeria, where she loves being part of a rural community that has a mix of both expats and Spanish residents. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading and exploring the area where she lives.

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