Volcano Erupts on Spain’s Canary Islands, Adventist Church Prepares to Respond

  • The September 19 eruption on La Palma has not affected church faculties or member homes.
  • Adventist Development & Relief Agency (ADRA) is poised to supply victims with non-perishable food as needed.

23 September 2021 | An Inter-European Division news release:

On September 19, a volcanic eruption on La Palma sent lava oozing through the streets of populated areas, setting fire to homes and destroying property. Around 10,000 people are being evacuated from the island. No casualties have so far been reported.

According to information from the pastor in La Palma, Maicer Romero, the eruption has not affected the Adventist church. The lava route, towards the beach, has only caused the relocation of one church member and his family.

“Our brother’s house has not been affected for the moment, and we pray that it remains so,” reported Romero. “If the lava follows the course it is taking, the danger will have passed. However, we continue to pray for the Lord’s protection, since scientists have said they need 48 hours to quantify the duration and course of the eruption. We also pray for the victims.”

Pastor Romero commented that the eruption of La Palma is affecting areas of second homes. It is not affecting the main cities. The lava is on its way to the beach, and it is expected to follow this course, freeing the Llanos and El Paso from danger.

“There is no material damage either [to] the church or [to] the properties of the brethren,” continued Romero. He has been constantly informing the brethren of the administration of the UAE (Spanish Adventist Union).

The Adventist church is preparing a plan to help the affected ones

Pastor Romero is keeping contact with the mayor of the Los Llanos City Hall, which is where most of the re-housed people are located. According to the pastor, if there is a need, ADRA’s aid device would be put into operation, but in principle it is not necessary because the government is taking care of the direct aid.

“We will see what is needed,” said Romero. “When it is known what the community needs, ADRA will respond as it has always done. Non-perishable food will probably be needed. The aid would be managed as it was during the fires, with the aid from ADRA Nacional and the management of ADRA La Palma.”

Pastor Romero requested prayers from the entire national church.

“It is a difficult time because what is being lost the most are banana plantations. This is terrible because they are the livelihood of many people in La Palma. Also, the areas affected by the lava are not going to be arable.”

The Volcano

Volcanic activity on La Palma had ceased since the eruption of Teneguía in 1971, at the southern tip of the island. But in 2017, seismic activity was reactivated. The last few years, there have been several swarms until this last, and most intense, which began on September 11.

As for the duration of the eruption, David Calvo, geologist of the Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands (Involcan), has pointed out that the duration of the eruption is “totally unpredictable” as long as experts are not clear about the energies that are being released. For his part, the director of the Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands, Nemedio Perez, commented that the volcanic eruption of La Palma could last several weeks, if not a few months.

Photo: EUD News

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