Spain: Naval vessel docks on La Palma Island to help farmers check crops and irrigation systems

The Spanish Navy vessel Castilla docked in La Palma on the
Canary Islands on Saturday.

The vessel’s crew will help farmers gain access to their plots that have been cut off by the lava flow. While there, naval staff will transport the farmers- with the aid of landing craft- to their farms so they can check the state of their crops and irrigation systems.

The banana growers association for the Canary Islands, ASPROCAN, estimates that around 1,500 of the island’s 5,000 owners of banana plantations have been financially ruined by the crisis.

Some residents in the northern part of La Palma will be allowed to return to their homes to collect any personal belongings from Saturday.

However, access to homes on the south side of the island still remains prohibited for the time being. Residents in El Charco, El Remo, Charco Verde, Puerto Naos, Las Norias and Las Hoyas must wait before conditions improve.

Residents on La Palma who have been directly affected by the volcanic eruption have been granted some economic respite. Interest on loans including mortgages will be frozen for the next six months at least, regardless of whether they are up to date with repayments or not.