On September 19, 2021, a volcanic eruption on the island of La Palma in Canary Islands, Spain, sent lava oozing through the streets of populated areas, setting fire to homes and destroying property. At least 10,000 people were evacuated. No casualties had been reported.
According to information from La Palma Seventh-day Adventist Church pastor Maicer Romero, the eruption has not affected the local congregation, located about 30 minutes’ drive from the volcano. The lava route toward the beach had caused the relocation of only one church member and his family, as of September 20.
“Our brother’s house has not been affected for the moment, and we pray that it remains so,” Romero said. “If the lava follows the course it’s taking, our church member should be safe. However, we continue to pray for the Lord’s protection. And we are also praying for the victims.”
Romero commented that the eruption of La Palma is affecting areas where people have second homes, but it does not seem to be affecting the main cities. The lava is on its way to the beach, he said.
“There is no material damage to the church or the properties of church members,” Romero reported. He has been constantly in touch with the congregation’s members and the regional administration of the Adventist Church’s Spanish Union of Churches Conference.
Adventists Are Ready to Assist Those Affected
Romero is also in touch with Los Llanos City Hall, where most of the displaced residents have been sheltered. “We are ready to see what the community needs,” Romero said. “When we find out, we will respond as we have always done. ADRA Spain and ADRA La Palma are ready to manage the assistance, as they have done in previous fires,” he explained.
Romero requested Adventist church members to pray for those affected. “It is a challenging situation because many banana plantations have been lost,” he said. “This is the livelihood of many residents in La Palma. Also, areas affected by the lava now cannot be used for farming,” Romero explained.
As of September 27, government officials reported that the eruption seemed to be ending, with less ash and lava movement, as it reached one of the mountains in its path. Church leaders asked members to keep in touch, praying for the residents of the island.