SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, Sep 29 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The Government of Spain has deployed on the island of La Palma, within the framework of the Special Plan for Civil Protection and Emergency Assistance for Volcanic Risk of the Canary Islands (Pevolca), a wide device of technical and human resources when ten days after the start from the eruption of the volcano.
In total, some 650 troops belonging to different organs and institutions of the General State Administration remain mobilized to face the emergency caused by the volcano, from the fields of security, intervention, observation and investigation of the eruptive phenomenon.
In collaboration and coordination with the rest of the public administrations (Autonomous Community, Cabildo de La Palma and municipalities), the Government Delegation, through the Insular Directorate and its Civil Protection Unit in the two provinces (with a team of four people), monitors the sufficiency of human and technical resources to face the emergency caused by the volcano, participating in the Scientific, Advisory and Management Committees of Pevolca.
“The eruption of the volcano on La Palma is undoubtedly posing a challenge for the different public administrations in technical and human terms. The unity and coordination of all the deployed personnel is proving to be an extraordinary example to follow in future emergencies. And, in this sense, the State is showing that it will continue to be present on La Palma for whatever it needs with all the means at its disposal, including economic ones, “said the Government delegate in the Canary Islands, Anselmo Pestana.
“As a government delegate, but also as a palm tree, I cannot but feel pride and gratitude towards all the professionals, coming from state bodies and the rest of the Administrations, who day and night, without rest, work on the ground, from the air and from the sea to observe this lava monster and avoid as much damage as possible, “he added.
Anselmo Pestana stressed that events such as the approval yesterday in the Council of Ministers of the first economic aid for the affected people “highlight how the Government of Spain is going to fulfill its promise, the promise made by President Pedro Sánchez, not to leave us the neighbors of La Palma alone, and attend to the needs of those affected “.
The participation of the state media in this emergency is particularly relevant in the Pevolca security group, in which the Civil Guard, as responsible for it, coordinates the implementation of the measures adopted by the Plan Directorate to prevent it from occurring. no harm on people.
The Civil Guard has 251 personnel deployed in La Palma, including citizen security, Mountain Service (GREIM), Judicial Police, Information, Rural Security Group (GRS), Cynological Group, Maritime Service, Seprona, Underwater Activities Group (GEAS) and Group Helicopter.
The armed institute is entrusted with functions such as guaranteeing citizen security, roadblocks, access control, evacuations, confinement, information to the population and collection of complaints.
For its part, the National Police maintains a deployment of 45 troops on La Palma between citizen security personnel and the Police Intervention Unit (UIP), plus 53 units supporting the Civil Guard in their area of demarcation.
From the beginning of the volcanic eruption, the mechanism for the rapid activation of the Military Emergency Unit (UME) was put into operation, which currently maintains a deployment of 186 military personnel and 66 media in areas with pumpers and motherships, telecommunications equipment, monitoring instruments and surveillance drones.
The UME has extensive capacities for intervention in the volcanic emergency, from its capacity to fight forest fires and surveillance and monitoring (also from the air with drones), to its capacity for psychological support and intervention in evacuations of people and / or or traffic regulation in collaboration with the National Police and the Civil Guard.
Likewise, the work of the Military Emergency Unit in La Palma is proving very relevant for taking samples of the materials expelled by the volcano and controlling air quality, with the VELIRE Vehicle (Light Reconnaissance Vehicle) analyzing by infrared the gasification of the volcano and checking the direction of the cloud.
In this sense, and from the scientific point of view, the National Geographic Institute (IGN), attached to the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, and the Geological and Mining Institute of Spain – Higher Council for Scientific Research (IGME-CSIC), attached to the Ministry of Science and Innovation, they carry out important research and information dissemination work on the volcano.
The National Geographic Institute has eight people on the island, four vehicles and working technology for the seismic network, and the IGME-CSIC has another eight people (to which are added two more from CSIC), material for ash sampling , an X-ray equipment, CO2 and radon sensors, a probe to measure water parameters, an oxygen meter and state-of-the-art imaging tools, including the drone that offers continuous images of the eruption and the path of the lava. on La Palma.
OBSERVATION FROM THE SEA
Salvamento Marítimo (SASEMAR), a public business entity attached to the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, has deployed the Salvamar ship, with 3 people on board, and the Punta Salinas ship, with twelve people on board.
The Maritime Rescue tower is at the disposal of the emergency for the control of maritime traffic and the reception of requests and in its Coordination Center there are 21 people operating.
Salvamento Marítimo also collaborates with researchers from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC) and the IGME to take CO2 measurements in seawater and monitor the consequences of the arrival of lava to the Atlantic Ocean.
At sea, the Spanish Oceanographic Institute (IEO), attached to the Ministry of Science and Innovation, maintains the Ramón Margalef oceanographic vessel in the area, which has a crew of 14 members and has four marine geologists, three oceanographers, two deployed R&D technicians, as well as a drone technician and an ROV technician.
MITECO MEDIA PARTICIPATION
The Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO) also participates in the deployment of state media through its Forest Fire Defense Area and the State Meteorological Agency (AEMET).
The Brigade of Reinforcement in Forest Fires (BRIF), which has a base on the island, in Puntagorda, is currently mobilizing a large helicopter brigade composed of two twin-turbine helicopters with 10/12 seats and a 1,200-liter heliball.
In total, 51 brigades, distributed in three brigades of 17 combatants (in shifts) are part of the deployment, along with a communications and observation aircraft (ACO) and a FOCA aircraft with 6,000 liters of capacity pre-positioned at the Gando Air Base, in Gran Canaria.
For its part, Aemet, which has a team of between 30 and 35 people working on meteorological prediction and surveillance, with two technicians posted to La Palma, has installed instrumentation for the characterization of the volcanic plume and air quality stations, and daily runs the MOCAGE pollution dispersion model in accident mode for forecasting the dispersion of volcanic ash.