As announced, the Council of Ministers has approved declaring an “area seriously affected by a civil protection emergency” (what has always been called “catastrophic zone”) to the island of Tenerife for the forest fire last month, a declaration that also extends, for the same cause, to Puntagorda, Tijarafe and El Paso (La Palma), and Tejeda and Vega de San Mateo (Gran Canaria).
The Minister of the Interior, Grande-Marlaska, indicated that the agreement allows all those affected to initiate the request for financial aid necessary to recover the normality of their daily lives.
What does the statement imply?
The mobilization of human, material and economic resources necessary to face the emergency is allowed. This may include additional funds for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the affected area.
Help those affected
Residents of the affected area can access special aid and benefits to mitigate the damage suffered. This may include economic support, subsidies for housing and reconstruction, and other measures aimed at alleviating the impact on the population.
Coordination of efforts
The declaration of a catastrophic area allows for better coordination between the different public administrations involved, such as the central government, regional governments and local authorities. This facilitates quick and efficient response to the emergency.
Facilitation of procedures
Certain administrative procedures and procedures are simplified to expedite aid and reconstruction. This may include the relaxation of urban planning and construction regulations to accelerate the rehabilitation of infrastructure and housing.
Attention to specific sectors
Specific measures can be implemented to protect especially vulnerable sectors, such as agriculture, livestock, tourism and others that may have been directly or indirectly affected by the disaster.
Promotion of solidarity
The declaration of a disaster zone can also generate greater media attention and solidarity both nationally and internationally, which can translate into donations and additional support for recovery.
Long-term evaluation and planning
In addition to the immediate response, a thorough assessment of the damage and the overall situation is usually carried out. This helps plan long-term reconstruction and implement prevention measures for similar future disasters.