Saturday, August 11, 2012

The fires on La Gomera  are still raging

The situation has been described by officials as 'critical and very complicated'.
By now about 500 people have been evacuated. Many roads are still closed, and
the official advice is not to travel by road at all. Valle Gran Rey is still cut off, but
occasionally convoys are being escorted in and out, and local excursion boat are
transporting people by sea. 
There now are 2 hydro-planes supporting the firefighters as well as several helicopters.
The planes are coming in over my house about every 5 minutes to 'land' near our harbour
to take in sea water, which surprisingly takes only a few seconds and they're back up, heading for the mountain villages. Most efforts are being concentrated to protect areas
where houses and livestock are at risk. Last weekend's fire all but destroyed the lovely little village of Igualero, where houses burnt down and farm animals and pets died. 

There are still several fire fronts raging in and around the National Park 'Garajonay'
(where we have a 2 million years old UN protected forest) and the latest news is tha the island's president has asked for more aerial support as the fires are getting too numerous and dangerous. The temperatures up there are in the high 30's (Celsius) and the humidity
only around 10% with strong winds that unpredictably change direction.

It is fairly clear by now that this is one of the worst disasters La Gomera has experienced.

... and bad news from Tenerife: A second fire has broken out there and the first fire

is still out of control. This will stretch emergency services even further...

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