After ten days without a lava flow, seismic activity or major sulfur dioxide emissions, authorities in one of Spain’s Canary Islands proclaimed that a volcanic eruption that started in September was officially over on Saturday.

(Photo: Getty Images)

La Palma eruption finally ends

Although La Palma, the most northwestern island of the Canary Archipelago, has been declared safe, the director of the Volcanic Emergency Committee has indicated that the La Palma crisis is far from over due to massive devastation caused by the eruption, according to

“It’s not joy or satisfaction – how do we define what we feel? It’s emotional relief. And hope,” said Julio Pérez, director of Pevolca. “Because now we can apply ourselves and fully concentrate on the work of reconstruction.”

About 3,000 homes have been destroyed, banana plantations and vineyards have been buried, irrigation systems have been destroyed and highways have been closed by molten lava. However, no one was injured or killed as a result of the eruption.

The Minister of Public Administration, Law and Security, Pérez, indicated that the government of the archipelago valued the destruction of buildings and infrastructure at more than a billion dollars.

In order to announce the apparent depletion of the Cumbre Vieja volcano, experts said they need to verify that key variables such as gas, lava and earthquakes have declined for 10 days.

Also read: Experts Debunked Fears of Mega Tsunami on East Coast Due to La Palma Volcanic Eruption

The best Christmas present

After bursting for 85 days and 8 a.m., the volcano finally became calm on December 14, ending La Palma’s longest eruption.

Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Spain, said that the end of the eruption was “the best Christmas present”.

“We will continue to work together, all institutions, to revive the wonderful island of La Palma and repair the damage,” he tweeted.

The Canary Islands, a favorite holiday destination for Europeans due to their hot temperature, depend mainly on agriculture and tourism.

Houses covered in lava and ash following the eruption of the volcano Cumbre Vieja(Photo: Getty Images)

Residents evacuated have returned home

Most of the 7,000 people who were forced to flee their homes have already returned, but ash damage to many buildings left behind made them uninhabitable. Some plantations are only accessible by boat due to the fact that many roads have been closed.

German couple Jacqueline Rehm and Juergen Doelz had to leave their rented home in Todoque and travel on a small sailboat for seven weeks following the evacuation order.

Everything they owned, including Rehm’s paintings and furniture, was destroyed by lava, Rehm said, adding that they would be moving to Tenerife after the holidays.

Islanders may no longer need to carry umbrellas and goggles to protect themselves from the ashes, but a huge cleanup job is just beginning.

Some citizens and businesses have complained that the government has hired more than 400 million euros (453 million dollars) for rehabilitation, but the money wasted time in arriving.

Related article: La Palma volcano: ‘real lava tsunami’ moved to Atlantic coast as earthquake erupted

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