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PM pledges to rebuild Spanish island affected by volcanic eruption


Spain’s prime minister has vowed to rebuild the island of La Palma, where a volcanic eruption has erupted molten lava and a thick cloud of pyroclastic ash for two weeks.

MADRID – Spain’s prime minister on Sunday vowed to rebuild the island of La Palma, where a volcanic eruption has spewed a thick cloud of molten lava and pyroclastic ash for the past two weeks, destroying homes and banana crops . The eruption is giving no indication that it will end anytime soon.

Returning for the third time since the volcanic eruption began on 19 September, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Sunday announced a 206 million euro ($238 million) aid package for the affected islanders.

According to Sánchez, the money will rebuild infrastructure vital to the island’s economy, primarily the important banana export industry and irrigation networks for other agricultural crops, as well as roads that serve hiking trails and beaches that serve tourists. attract to. The fund aims to create jobs and cut taxes for La Palma residents.

“We are facing the test of resistance, because we do not know when the eruption of the volcano will end,” Sanchez said in a televised press conference. “But citizens should know that when this ends, the Spanish government will be there to help in the colossal task of rebuilding La Palma and offering a horizon of prosperity.”

The government last month approved a separate 10.5 million euro ($12.2 million) emergency fund to buy housing and basic goods for those who have seen their homes buried by molten rock.

Rivers of lava trickled down for more than 6 kilometers (about 4 mi) and after reaching the coast of the island are now falling into the Atlantic Ocean, where a peninsula of more than 28 hectares (70 acres) is rising. and is spreading in the sea.

On Sunday, the Volcanoes Institute for the Canary Islands, Involcan, said eruptive activity in the volcano’s vents had intensified, while several medium-grade earthquakes were recorded by the country’s geological institute, IGN.

Despite the spectacular images of the explosion and its damage to property, no casualties have been reported, mainly due to the rapid evacuation.

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