La Palma eruption – January 2023

La Palma eruption – January 2023

Monthly summary


The CO2 levels continue to be very high in La Bombilla and Puerto Naos, still preventing the return of residents, with levels of over 50,000 ppm still being regularly recorded. The ongoing situation has led to some unrest among the affected residents, with gas monitoring equipment being vandalised on multiple occasions in the affected areas. 99 people from these areas are still housed in hotels, with an additional 30 and 58 people from these areas living with family/friends or in rental accommodation, respectively.

Research institutions are still attempting to understand the exact origin of the CO2 in these areas. IGME are now investigating the possibility that they are being transported from shallow aquifers below the volcano, rather than the alternative hypothesis that they are transported directly from the stored magma beneath the island.

Elsewhere, plans are still being proposed for the use of the land atop the new lava flows. The powerful banana lobby has proposed for the bottom half to be reconstituted as banana plantations, whilst other politicians have argued for the land to be protected or to be a garden, with IGME specifically asking for the preservation of the lava flows associated with the largest new lava delta.

Finally, research on the recovery of vegetation near the volcano has once again illustrated the resilience of the Canarian Pine Tree, with a new study finding that over 90% of the pine trees classified as being at ‘ground zero’ to the eruption survived.


The latest statistics show that state emergency aid has reached more than 20,000 people, and the recovery aid has now surpassed 600 million Euros. 264 million has gone to accommodation, with officially 258 homes delivered to those affected, with hopes of reaching 300 by the end of February. For those affected wanting to build their own homes on new land, the Los Llanos municipality have granted close to 100 rustic land licenses specially allocated for those affected to build new homes

There have been political clashes over aid promised by the Cabildo de La Palma, with politician Nieves Lady Barreto claiming it has not paid the 30,000 Euros to those affected because it ‘doesn’t want to’, although the president of the Canary Islands has promised that despite the delays, this will be paid in February.


It is confirmed the 1st phase of the coastal highway should be completed in April and construction has begun. The 2nd phase of the project, which is highly controversial due to the first proposed route, will be completed later although a final route has yet to be confirmed for the latter phase. As part of this 1st phase, a 250m long ‘viaduct’ is being constructed between the two lava flows, in an attempt to minimise the destruction during construction to any of the remaining banana plantations in the area.

In terms of other roads, work is currently ongoing to reconnect the Camino Cruz Chica to the important La Laguna crossing junction via a new roundabout, whilst the CC party have asked for the prioritising of the recovery and opening of the LP-2 road close to the eastern limits of the lava flows, which would provide a second connection between the north and south of the lava flows. Some work has been undertaken on this route, but at a much slower rate than the La Laguna-Las Norias crossing.

The recovery of utilities is also ongoing; the water pipe connecting El Remo and Las Hoyas, which has partially been built across the southern lava delta, is expected to become operational in March, highlighting an important milestone for the recovery of water resources in the affected areas and the removal of the temporary desalination plants. However, the project remains controversial, having ignored an order to stop works due to alleged illegalities in the construction process lodged by a local politician. Regarding the recovery of power, 44km of power lines have now been recovered, restoring power to many affected areas.

Other updates: 

The results of the autopsy of the man who died were released at the start of the month, certifying that the death was attributable to the volcano as the man died from inhalation of toxic gases, namely carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide. The death, which occurred on the 13th November 2021, was controversial as authorities first suggested he died from a fall, and have since waited more than 12 months fulfil their promise of releasing the results of the subsequent autopsy to determine the cause of death.

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

News articles

  • El Time – The TSJC certifies that the volcano claimed a human victim due to inhalation of toxic gases – here
  • La Palma Ahora – Nieves Lady Barreto: “The Government of the Canary Islands has not paid the 30,000 euros to those affected because they did not want to” – here
  • La Palma Ahora – The new highway between Puerto Naos and Tazacorte could come into service at the end of April – here
  • El Time – Los Llanos grants almost 100 rural land licenses in seven months – here
  • El Time – La Palma has already received 600 million in public support for the economic and social recovery of the island – here
  • El Time – State aid for the volcanic emergency has reached more than 20,000 people – here
  • La Palma Ahora – The high concentrations of CO2 are maintained in the houses of La Bombilla – here
  • El Time – The €30,000 from the Government for the loss of the home will be paid in February – here
  • El Time – One million euros to reinforce psychosocial support and the employability of those affected – here

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


Access photography taken around this time

  • Resiste La Palma – Nostalgia for Puerto Naos – here
  • Resiste La Palma – The La Laguna – Las Norias road in Late January – here
  • Resiste La Palma – Viaduct construction – 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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