Thursday, August 23, 2012

La Gomera is recovering

The clean-up operation in Valle Gran Rey is in full swing and for this weekend an environmental group has chartered a bus to bring more volunteers to assist.
There are plans being drawn up to restore ALL damaged areas, but obviously some parts in the mature forest will take longer to recover than others. Overall 'only' 10% of the
island was affected and this fact will help recuperation.
The remaining glowing embers, glowing roots and organic material underground are being tackled by digging trenches and by extinguishing and cooling them from the air as well as by fire brigades on the ground - to prevent new fires.
All local fiestas have been suspended for the time being, but the benefit show on Sept. 8th will go ahead.
More help is still needed, especially for those who lost everything and weren't insured.
There are a lot of cases,too, where properties weren't properly registered or fully legal and in those cases even official government aid cannot be claimed. 
...and there are many cases where the victims are  either to shy, too proud, or too modest to ask for help, and for those we need to organize some help discretly and directly.
The newly founded 'plataforma Valle Gran Rey' tries to help those as well, and there are private initiatives, like this one by a German medical doctor who has a clinic in VGR and in his video shows a despairing local man called Domingo (Domingo means Sunday - it all happened during Sunday night 12-08-2012):

BUT please remember that there is only ONE official account for donations (see my previous post) !!!

Finally here's a link to a video shot in the El Cedro forest, one of the many, many beautiful areas left totally intact:

Upper Valle Gran Rey before the fire:

Upper Valle Gran Rey after the fire  ( but I can guarantee you that it soon will look just as before again. Most palm trees will recover, as will lots of fruit trees and I've already seen many new green shoots). The people, however, will need more aid to recover...:

Total damage for the whole island is estimated at over 70 Million Euros, not counting lost revenue, etc. ... That's an awful lot for a small island with only 22.000 inhabitants and an already crisis-damaged, fragile economy.

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