Spain vows to speed up aid in hard-hit, volcano struck La Palma island

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez would speed up aid to the hard-hit agriculture and fishing industries on the island of La Palma, where part of the volcano’s cone collapsed on Saturday and red hot lava continued to flow over a month after the eruption began.

Lava has covered almost 900 hectares of land, destroying over 2,000 buildings and many banana plantations. More than 7,000 people have had to leave their homes since the eruption started on September 19.

“At the cabinet meeting next Tuesday we are going to make a budgetary modification to accelerate the arrival of economic resources for both the Employment Plan and aid for the entire agriculture and fishing sector,” Sanchez said at a press conference during his fifth visit to the island since the eruption began.

The Canary Islands Volcanology Institute said that part of the main cone had collapsed on Saturday morning.

In early October, Sanchez announced 206 million euro in government funding for the island to rebuild infrastructure and boost employment, agriculture and tourism.

The eruption has been devastating some of the island’s banana crops, which account for around half its economic output.

Sanchez paid tribute to all those working to tackle the eruption, which has caused no deaths.