(Worthy News) – The situation remains volatile for many living near the volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma, prompting prayers from the pope and, doubtless others. Dramatic footage emerged of a church wiped away in seconds Sunday by a relentless lava stream.
The destruction came as authorities struggled to bring back some sense of normality to the troubled area where thousands had been evacuated in recent days.
La Palma’s erupting Cumbre Vieja volcano continues to roar. But authorities noticed on Sunday that lava flows remained slow.
It was the main reason why the airport on the Spanish island briefly reopened. The Spanish airport authority said that La Palma airport was operational again after closing Saturday due to a heavy fall of volcanic ash that coated the runway.
People had been waiting there to leave the troubled island. But soon after, no planes were leaving or arriving amid fears ash clouds could threaten the proper functioning of aircraft.
“We were supposed to leave today, but our flight was canceled,” a passenger said. “And we have to wait till Monday. That means more nights here, and the implications are that we can’t get back to work,” she added.
The airport closure led to long lines at the island’s port to catch ferries off the island. Tourists say they feel sorry for those being left behind. “We think it’s horrific for the people living here,” one of those waiting said. “We didn’t enjoy our journey. We think it’s terrible what’s happened here,” he stressed.
Officials have now allowed some evacuated residents to collect belongings from their homes. “It’s not going well on the island because of this tragedy,” a resident noticed. “We have to help each other. We are all very sad.”
On La Palma, part of Spain’s volcanic Canary Islands off northwest Africa, the volcano erupted on September 19. Authorities say the prompt evacuations of more than 6,000 people helped avoid or limit casualties on this island of about 85,000 residents.
But many have lost everything they own as hundreds of properties were destroyed. Farmers rush to save crops of bananas, avocados, and grapes before the lava reaches plantations – which are rich with volcanic, fertile soil – on which many islanders depend for their livelihoods.
This month’s eruption is the first on La Palma in half a century. And scientists warn that the eruption could last for up to three months.
Yet, amid the misery, people on social media dubbed one residence a “miracle house.” Footage showed it miraculously escaped the lava flow, which had destroyed anything else in its path.
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