It’s been more than three months since La Palma’s volcano erupted in Spain’s Canary Islands. Now, the incredibly active volcano, known as Cumbre Vieja, has officially become inactive. Its eruption has concluded after three scary months of steadily flowing lava and bursting ash clouds.
In a kind of Christmas Miracle, Reuters reports scientists declared the eruption on the island over on Saturday, December 25th. According to the outlet, it’s been more than 100 days since Cumbre Vieja began spewing lava, rock, and ash. Further, the volcano “suddenly went quiet” more than a week ago on December 13th. However, scientists did not want to raise false hope, especially ahead of the holidays, in immediately concluding the volcano’s activity.
Of the volcano’s sudden silence, Canary Islands’ Regional Security Chief, Julio Perez, said in a press conference, “What I want to say today can be said with just four words: The eruption is over.”
After the unimaginable destruction, island residents express relief to hear of the end of the eruption.
Maria Jose Blanco, director of the National Geographic Institute on the Canaries, also affirmed the volcanic eruption had run out of energy. Nevertheless, she did not suggest a future eruption, potentially even similar to the most recent of Cumbre Vieja’s, was not possible in the future.
Cumbre Vieja’s Latest Eruption Leaves Unimaginable Damage
Fortunately for La Palma residents, many continued their everyday lives as best they could during the eruption. Nevertheless, that’s not to say they aren’t relieved to not have to carry around umbrellas and goggles to protect against volcanic ash. That said, however, the island’s consistent occupancy does not imply that little damage came as a result.
In fact, Reuters reports things are quite the opposite. Current reports state lava engulfed numerous houses, churches, and banana plantations. The plantations come as one of the heaviest losses as bananas account for about half of La Palma’s economy.
More specifically, around 3,000 properties saw demolition, lava coating more than 1,200 hectares. For perspective, the news outlet compared the total property damage to the area of 1,500 soccer pitches.
Additionally, the mass eruption resulted in the necessary evacuation of 7,000 individuals, however, many have returned home following the conclusion of Cumbre Vieja’s rage. Unfortunately, however, the outlet states many La Palma residents’ homes are uninhabitable due to major ash damage.
As a result, one couple, German couple Jacqueline Rehm and Juergen Doelz, moved from their island vacation home to their small sailboat for seven weeks to wait out the eruption.
“We couldn’t save anything,” Rehm began. “[N]one of the furniture, none of my paintings, it’s all under the lava now.” However, that wasn’t the end of her statement.
She also added, “I’m not sure it’s really over. I don’t trust this beast at all.”
And after three months of consistent eruption and destruction, who can blame her?