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Get ahead with a lava house and business in Puerto Naos, the ghost town of La Palma.

Date: October 2, 2022 Time: 19:06:12

Goreti performed the ritual in his old house, located in the Todoka area. Every morning he went out onto the terrace to drink his first coffee of the day and smoke a cigarette. On September 19, 2021, the eruption of the Cabeza de Vaca volcano ended this custom forever. His house and that of his brothers were destroyed by one of the lava flows from the La Palma volcano. He is currently renting in Tazacorte, in a 55 square meter apartment with little to no natural light. His business is still standing, but it was closed within a year. It is located in Puerto Naos, a tourist center evicted and turned into a ghost town due to the deadly gases left in it. “I decided to take care of all the paperwork myself, and this makes me put on lipstick every morning and go out, because if not…”.

Puerto Naos continues to appear on the internet as a must-see enclave for visitors to La Palma. However, on Google Maps, all establishments in the area are accompanied by a note: “Temporarily closed.” Where there used to be life and the constant movement of people, now there is only silence and abandonment. On the rest of the island, the impossible mission of returning to homes and reopening businesses is driving palm trees and palm trees to despair. So far, according to data provided by the government of the Canary Islands, at least 180 people continue to live in hotels created for residents who do not have alternative housing. Most of them are residents of Puerto Naos and La Bombilla.

Carlos Manuel is one of the men who has been living in these complexes for almost a year now. “It’s very bad for us. I thought he was going to get closer to the shoulder, but I see that he isn’t,” he laments. ways to “live with gases of volcanic origin”.

“It won’t be permanent, but we don’t know how long it will last,” volcanologist Nemesio Perez concluded. Scientist Pedro Hernandez added that the lethality of gases is higher in garages and on the ground floors of houses. “Going down to the basement to pick up a bike can still cost you your life,” he said.

“There is a problem of carbon dioxide accumulation in the region. Various analyzes have been made of the origin of this gas. It comes from below, from the magma body, and makes staying there difficult or impossible, ”Stavros Meletlidis, a volcanologist from the National Geographic Institute (IGNT), explained in an interview with this newspaper.

Last Tuesday, during a visit organized by the Cabildo de La Palma, technicians found two dead turtledoves in a garage where the oxygen level did not exceed 13%. “If a person enters this garage, in a few minutes they will lose consciousness and then their life,” explained Efe Rafael Garcia, safety and emergency technician for the Island Operational Coordination Center (Cecopin).

Goreti owns a company that organizes paragliding flights. “I closed myself in front of the volcano because, although there was nothing officially, there were a lot of planes and helicopters moving around the area. At that time, Todok was allegedly not in danger, so we moved a lot of things from the office in Puerto Naos home,” he recalls.

The 53-year-old palm has received a grant from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and together with donations from individuals and a small amount of rental income from the regional government, this is the only financial contribution she has received so far. “I did not receive 60,000 euros from the state. What about 30,000 euros from the government of the Canary Islands? They are not and are not expected, ”he says. Goreti assures that he is “not ahead” of the state, because he received insurance money when his house disappeared. “But it will be kept in the bank to complete the mortgage payment. This is the biggest anger we have. Not knowing why some do and others don’t,” he adds.

According to the latest report “Measures and assistance in emergency situations and the reconstruction of La Palma”, prepared by the Spanish government and the regional executive, 489 families received compensation of 60,000 euros for the loss of their home. In total, 1,600 houses disappeared during the eruption. Of these, 1026 were first houses.

no clear future

For Goreti, planning for the future is impossible. His ideal is to rebuild a house in the same area where he was. “They told us that this month they will start expropriating the land to create a new Todok. The goal is to make it as similar as possible to what we had, with the same neighbors. But time passes, but I don’t see any movement,” he laments.

“If we had something, some date… But who already believes?” he asks. “Nothing is said, complete uncertainty. It is not known whether the gases will run out today or within a year. And if the specific ERTE for the emergency in La Palma is extended. In the coming months, container-type houses installed in Los Llanos de Aridana will be delivered to some of the victims. “We’ll see if more houses become vacant so I can move in,” he hopes.

His sister and his mother are the two beneficiaries of these houses. Theodora is her mother, she is 92 years old. The rash worsened her health and pushed her into a wheelchair. “We are ‘lucky’ to have one container for my sister and one for my mom. I was told that my mother would be adapted and be wider,” he says. Gorety describes this decision as a “miracle”. “The fact that she has a container just for her was a vitamin shot. She is very excited and is already planning how she wants to live. He wants a happy home and spend Christmas with lots of lights and a Christmas tree outside,” he celebrates.

For other neighbors, the fact that container-type houses were commissioned after a year of emergency is an example of “disaster management”. Thus, this is one of the reasons why the victims called a demonstration for September 19 next year, a year after the volcanic eruption.

After 365 days, Goreti assures that the pain they feel is “different”. “It hurts differently, it’s not as explosive and it’s not just something that makes you cry. Now what you feel is a sore throat when you say, “Oh my God! We don’t get out, we don’t get out of this,” he says. “We used to cry about what we lost, and now I cry about what I can’t achieve. I don’t know where I will go. At 53, as a woman, I am young to get any help or work, but I am old to start over,” she laments.

Source: www.eldiario.es

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