La Palma eruption – February 2023

La Palma eruption – February 2023

Monthly summary


  • The gas levels in La Bombilla and Puerto Naos continue to show little sign of improvements, with gas monitors belonging to INVOLCAN exceeding 50,000 ppm of CO2 daily inside buildings in some areas. Further meetings are taking place to attempt to determine a pathway for improved access to the area, and plans are underway to restore water to La Bombilla and Puerto Naos, which will be useful when or if locals are allowed to return. However, any plans first require permission from the public health ministry on the island. The neighbourhood of Las Lajones has seen its CO2 concentrations stabilise to near normal levels, and accordingly it can be visited more easily; between 9am-7pm 7 days per week by residents, providing they are given a gas meter. In 2023 so far, 139 properties in the restricted areas have been visited, by 195 residents.
  • INVOLCAN have also released a new video showing a 3D thermal of the main cone of the volcano, illustrating the high temperatures that still persist around the cone. The video can be seen here:
  • A new article published by Volcanologists from Germany and Spain in Scientific Reports has given a new estimate of 210 x 106 mfor the volume of erupted material, using high resolution elevation models of the area. It also explores the links between seismicity and eruption rate, which it find were variable at different points of the eruption.


  • Unemployment rose dramatically at the start of the month and returned to ‘real’ numbers on La Palma, which coincided with the ending of many emergency contracts brought in to employ people in various parts of the reconstruction effort after the eruption.
  • The municipality of Tazacorte will subsidise 95% of the fees and licenses for those affected who decide to rebuild a house or farm in the area – this measure has also been taken by the municipality of Los Llanos de Aridane, although not yet in the affected municipality of El Paso.
  • In the recent general budget, €30 million has been set aside for the islands Employment and Training Plan, and an additional €12.5 million has been allocated for the social and economic recovery of that islands to support both affected businesses and individuals.
  • There has been controversy in parliament over the deduction of personal income tax in La Palma. This was promised last year by the government and has been applied by businesses in their payrolls, although the general administration of the state has not yet followed through with this for the Civil Guards, police, or workers in government ministries. It has been estimated by the Nacionalista group that the islands population could see an extra €56-64 million from this scheme.
  • The General Secretary of the Coalition Canarias (CC) party, as well as Sergio Rodriguez, Mayor of El Paso, have stressed that many other aid promises made by the Cabildo de La Palma and Canary Islands Government have not been kept. Among these are that; 1. The €30,000 for those who lost their homes from the Cabildo de La Palma has still not been paid; 2. There is still no aid for additional homes for those who lost more than one home; 3. No help has been given for those who were unable to seek aid because of complications with insurance; 4. Promised aid for those who lost agricultural greenhouses has not been paid; and 5. There has still been no official plan announced for new permanent homes on the island.
  • The audio-visual company from Tenerife I Love The World have donated €145,762 to the La Palma-based NGO Tierra Bonita. The donations came from the proceeds of their book Las otras historias deal volcán, which contains testimonies from those affected and has sold 12,000 copies since it was published in 2022.


  • Controversy about the coastal road – communication issues between the government and the locals, CC have asked the government to present at once the planned route for the road. The government first promised that it would announce the full alternative route of the road in September 2022, after months of backlash for its initial design, especially of the second phase of the route. CC accuse the Government of the Canary Islands of making these fall promises to garner supporters for the recent elections. 
  • The final section of the Cruz de La Laguna, one of the key road connections in the area, has finally been recovered, more than 1 year after the first part of the crossing was recovered in January 2022.
  • The recovery of utilities including water and irrigation to the affected areas continue, and a recent report details how €20 million have been invested in this recovery since October 2023. The most important part of these works is the new water pipe crossing the lava delta to irrigate the most productive coastline on La Palma, from Las Hoyas to El Remo. However, this project is also the most controversial, with a legal attempt lodged to stop the works due to a reported lack of necessary environmental assessments for the work.

Sources: La Palma Ahora, Cabildo de La Palma, El Time, ABC España, The Good Time ES

News articles

  • El Time – Unemployment returns to “real” numbers on La Palma; 1,058 more unemployed in January after the end of aid for the volcano – here 
  • El Time – Almost 20 million invested in 16 months to return irrigation and supply water to the volcano area – here 
  • El Time – Those affected by the coastal highway announce more mobilizations if the final route is not confirmed – here
  • El Time – The Cabildo de La Palma allocates more than 11 million euros to promote employment on the Island – here
  • El Time – The gases inside the houses of La Bombilla exceed 50,000 ppm of carbon dioxide daily here 
  • El Time – Those affected by the coastal highway warn that they will “enforce” the 32,000 signatures against the route – here
  • Cabildo de La Palma – The Peinpal seeks to give greater flexibility to the accesses to Puerto Naos and La Bombilla – here 
  • Cabildo de La Palma – The Cabildo injects 12.5 million more to boost the economic and social recovery of La Palma after the eruption here 
  • El Time – Román Rodríguez: “The delay in aid of €30,000 is due to management problems” – here 
  • El Time – IGME denies that it alerted PEVOLCA that an eruption was going to occur in 24 hours – here 
  • El Time – The Government allocates 30 million to the Comprehensive Employment Plan of La Palma – here

To see our full news archive, visit our open data section or click here.


Access photography taken around this time

  • Resiste La Palma – Visual and thermal data of Tajogaite Volcano – here 
  • Resiste La Palma – Drone footage of beaches forming on the lava deltas – here
  • Resiste La Palma – Current status of the Fajana Sur works La Palma Volcano – here

Environment maps

The exclusion zones and road construction plans shown here have been approximated from press releases from the Cabildo de La Palma and will not be exact, nor claim to be official maps of the exclusion zones and road construction. For official information, please contact the Cabildo de La Palma.

News and Interviews

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Interactive Road construction map

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Animated Exclusion zone map

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