10,000 people have headed to La Palma over this long holiday weekend to see the volcanic eruption on Cumbre Vieja, and to help support the island’s economy.
With the volcano not showing any signs of stopping any time soon, La Palma is now attempting to solve the dilemma of how to recover a tourist economy while a natural disaster is taking place.
The original eruption six weeks ago caused many tourists to cancel holidays or leave the island, but now there is increasing interest from people who want to witness this historic event.
As a result, the Canarian Volcano Emergency committee Pevolca, has laid on free shuttle buses running every 20 minutes from the old airport at Breña Baja to the square in Tajuya, which is one of the best safe viewpoints to see the volcanos. The service runs from 10 am to midnight, allowing visitors to witness the eruption at night time.
Supervising tourists is also essential. The remaining roads that are not covered by lava are closely monitored by security forces, and there are several stewards and rangers in the area, too.
Tourists to La Palma should be prepared for some inconvenience, including the light fall of fine black ash that covers outdoor areas and cars, as well as the possibility of earthquakes- a magnitude 5 tremor was felt all over the island yesterday morning. But they will also be helping the island of La Palma to get back on its feet.
Of course, there is much more to see on La Palma than the volcano. The island’s charming capital, Santa Cruz, has some of the most delightful shopping streets on the Canaries, and the Roque de los Muchachos, which overlooks the Caldera de Taburiente national park, offers some of the most spectacular scenery in Europe.
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