Monday, September 11, 2017

Another sad anniversary on September 11th

The monument close to Los Roques on La Gomera island with trees burnt in 2012 in the background

The whole world now remembers 9/11, but on La Gomera the date is remembered for another very sad incident which happened in 1984. On the 11th of September 33 years ago twenty people died in a forest fire near Roque Agando, a landmark rock formation in La Gomera's mountains above the village of La Laja where a forest fire had broken out. The spot is on an exposed ridge and the victims were trapped there when the wind suddenly changed direction enclosing them in fire and intense heat. Among the victims were local volunteer firefighters and some people from Tenerife, including a former mayor of Puerto de la Cruz. The tragedy is one of the worst fire-related disasters in all of Spain ever and a sad-looking rusty steel monument near the spot lists all 20 names of the victims. The area around Roque Agando which stands at the eastern end of the national park was ablaze again  during the devastating fire of 2012, but thankfully there were no casualties in that major fire.

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