Scientists have officially declared the end of the eruption of La Palma volcano today, bringing relief to the inhabitants of the island 100 days since Kumbre Vieha began digging lava, rocks and ash.
After its eruption on September 19, the volcano suddenly calmed down on December 13, but the authorities, worried that they would give false hopes to the exhausted residents, waited until Christmas day to announce the end of the episode.
“What I want to say today can be said in four words: the explosion is over,” Canary Islands security chief Julio Pereth told a news conference.
During the eruption, the lava flowed swallowed houses, churches and banana plantations that account for half of the island’s economy. However, they were not dead.
Maria Jose Blanco, director of the Canary National Geographic Institute, said all indications were that the volcanic eruption had been depleted. However, he did not rule out its future activation.
About 3,000 homes were destroyed by the lava that now covers an area of 12,190,000 square meters, according to the final report.
Of the 7,000 people who have fled their homes, most have returned home, but many remain uninhabited. As many roads are impassable, some of the banana plantations are now only accessible by sea.
The volcanic roar that reminded the eruption was underway has stopped, residents no longer use umbrellas and goggles to protect themselves from the ashes, but the giant clearing and rebuilding operation is just beginning.