Disasters & Accidents

Tenerife fire still raging as PM Sanchez visits island

Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, Aug 21 (EFE).- Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sanchez visited Tenerife in the Canary Islands on Monday to visit areas that have been affected by a fire that has been raging for the past six days.

While the blaze in the mountains of Tenerife slowed on Monday, it has yet to fully stabilize or be brought under control.

Evacuation orders in affected areas have been lifted, even though the fire is still active having burned some 13,383 hectares of land.

No deaths have been reported and the fire has not razed any homes, Tenerife Town Hall president Rosa Davila said.

Acting prime minister Sanchez announced that the government would approve civil protection emergency measures for the affected areas.

Sanchez guaranteed that the government “will be involved” in the reconstruction work of the affected areas and in providing aid to people affected by the fire.

“The whole of Spain is with the Canary Islands and with Tenerife,” the prime minister said.

“It is now and it will be when it is over, in the recovery and reconstruction of everything that the fire has devastated”, he said.

The observatory is one of the most important sites for astronomical observation internationally.

The flames surrounded the Themis and Stella telescopes but firefighting teams managed to protect the facilities from being damaged.

In addition to the fire, emergency services are concerned by the worsening air quality due to smoke.

The Directorate General of Emergencies of the Government of the Canary Islands has accordingly urged people to use FFP2 masks.

According to the organization SEO/BirdLife, the fire is affecting the habitat of 39 species of birds, many of them endemic species or subspecies, and protected areas of major ecological value, including the Teide National Park. EFE


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