Wednesday, October 27

Eruption on La Palma: an early morning of roofs and blankets


Katy had a hard time “catching” the dream. He hung out the window for hours until he gave up. “I had it in front of him and I only remember an eternal sound that broke with the explosions … The fireballs reached more than a hundred meters high and the only thing I felt was helplessness and rage”, adding that “I do not understand how there are people who only talk about the beauty of an eruption when you are seeing that the lava destroys the houses; with the sacrifices of many years and many generations. “Dominated by a shock that she had never experienced so close, her first memory is for people who have lost everything.” They have been left with nothing; that land is going to be dead for decades. ”

Diego Martín lives less than a kilometer away from Cabeza de Vaca, right at the epicenter of the eruptive phase. Before returning home, he was making and distributing sandwiches – to the Civil Protection, Civil Guards, Local Police and UME – and much earlier, in the morning, a relative collaborated with him in the transfer of a horse and a dog to a safe place. Responsible for a sports performance and injury recovery center, another of his activities is associated with the El Paso Volunteer Firefighters.

“With what you have away from home it is impossible to sleep ... I do not know how many times I got up for fear that another mouth would open and I would have to run “, he describes before pointing out that” it was not a night of panic, but it was to stay awake. ”

“No sleep and no appetite”

Miguel Ángel Pais, a resident of the Todoque neighborhood, had to go to his first residence to retrieve some medicines and a vehicle overnight after settling in a rented apartment in Tazacorte. “It’s maddening because you see that you can’t do anything: you go crazy”, he comments.

Kenia Rocha, Katy’s cousin, has a house (it is in an area threatened by the path of the lava) in Las Manchas de Abajo. She was one of many neighbors who attended the meetings in which the guidelines to follow in the event of an eruption were explained. “It is one thing that they explain it to you and quite another to observe the lava near your house. When you see the fire the only feeling you have is of helplessness. Unfortunately, many properties that are in the path of the laundry are going to be lost”, it portends without forgetting that the noise is unbearable: “very slow, but check it out,” he says.

“It’s like a helicopter is trying to land on the roof.” This is how forceful Óscar Simón expresses himself when he looks for something similar with which to compare the roar of the earth. “Even though you know you are in a protected area – he resides in El Paso – it is impossible not to think about the anguish and sorrow of all the people who see the fire pass over their houses. Listening to the angry volcano is deafening.”

Ramón Álvarez still runs a small tourist establishment located about a thousand meters from the point through which one of the lava tongues advanced. On Sunday he ended up looking for solutions to relocate a group of clients (10 families) and only when he got home was he aware of the magnitude of the catastrophe. “I know this is going to attract the attention of the world, but what is happening is devastating,” advances the manager of a business that is located between La Laguna and Todoque. “From a rooftop and, above all, at night you are not able to assess what has been lost and, above all, what is about to be lost,” he abbreviated without losing hope that at some point everything will be the same as before. “When you listen to the snoring of the earth, a feeling of diminution takes hold of you that is not easy to explain. Nature sends us signals that are not always interpreted in the most appropriate way,” he says, looking for some anchor with what happened 50 ago. years in the Teneguía. “Everyone says they are two completely different eruptions and this one will stay with us for a few days. Now, it’s time to rebuild what the volcano has taken away.”


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