King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain travelled to the Canary Island of La Palma to saw the destruction left behind by the volcanic eruption that originated in “Cumbre Vieja”, the work of the emergency services and the situation of the affected neighbourhoods.
La Palma has suffered numerous earthquakes since September 11 and on September 19 the lava reached the surface of the Cumbre Vieja volcano and kept pouring out for more than four days forcing more than 6,000 people to abandon their homes in the nearby areas of Los Llanos de Aridane and El Paso. Fortunately, no fatalities or injuries have been reported so far.
Felipe and Letizia first visited the rehabilitation camps and shelters accomodating the people who were displaced by the volcano eruption. They held a meeting in the courtyard with a representation of the bodies and organizations that manage the seismic-volcanic crisis on the ground.
The next stop of the day was Cabildo de Santa Cruz de la Palma where the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, was waiting for them to attend the meeting with the Technical Committee of the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (PEVOLCA). They met with the emergency service team, the Spanish Red Cross team and the crew of the National Geographic Institute to learn about the aftermaths of the volcano and what is being done to help the people affected.
The King and Queen also had a brief meeting with the PEVOLCA Scientific Committee and at the end of the meeting, they went to the Advanced Command Post. There they made a visit to the facilities from where the emergency officers 112, Cabildo, Civil Guard and Military Emergency Unit conduct terror operations.
At the end of the visit, King Felipe and Queen Letizia addressed the press. Felipe thanked the emergency services and volunteer teams for the groundwork they have been doing. He said, “It is a tragedy, without a doubt. It is not easy to put yourself in the shoes of all those who have lost so much these days. Entire families who had their hopes, their lives, dedicated to sustenance, to work, so much have been lost….
We have to do everything in our power to support these families, preserve their safety, guarantee their tomorrow and rebuild on La Palma everything that nature has taken away…..What we have seen these days stunned and what we have lived today we will not forget. It will cost a lot to return to normality, no one can deny that, but La Palma will succeed. All these families, despite the disaster that hit them, are going to have a future because together we are going to help put their lives back together. We have to help them…..
We do not forget, the Queen and I, of course, I want to mention it now as well, of the tireless work of the security forces, the Armed Forces, Civil Protection, firefighters, the Red Cross, scientists, specialists, and so many volunteers who are helping his neighbours. What they are doing these days is a lesson that they are giving us in capacity and humanity. I want to say that we also feel a particular pride for Canarian science, for all the scientists who carry out a very important work here and who, in this tragic circumstance, have shown the necessity of their work and their worth. We have to keep supporting them, supporting science.
For the day, Letizia kept her look simple and casual. She was wearing a white top with Hugo Boss High-waisted Cropped trousers and green jacket.