La Palma eruption – June 2023

La Palma eruption – June 2023

Monthly summary


  • An international science team including GeoTenerife have conducted research into the building damage from the lava flows on La Palma, with a focus on the impacts to the people affected in order to better help people in the future. The number one priority is getting information back to the community in a way that could be useful. They aim to compare the damage to that estimated by the widely-shared damage assessment maps, and also look for links between the lava flow dynamics and the damage seen.
  • A study by the Spanish Society of Allergology and Immunology has found that the pollen from the Canarian Pine trees in La Palma may have become more harmful to allergy sufferers, both due to climate change and due to the exposure of the pollen and these trees to toxic gases during the eruption.
  • In Puerto Naos and La Bombilla, residents remain evacuated due to continued dangerously high diffuse CO2 emissions in the area. A pilot for forced ventilation, which was supervised by IGN and Involcan, was undertaken in an underground garage in the area. The system, which renews the volume of air in the garage up to seven times an hour, was found to lower the CO2 concentration from 300,000 ppm to below 3,000 ppm. However, the levels are known to rise very rapidly again once the system is turned off.
  • Public health recommend keeping Puerto Naos and La Bombilla evacuated, with 15-day maximums across the stations being 2,500-21,000 ppm, 19,000-55,000 ppm, 2,500-80,000 ppm, and 440-50,000 ppm, for outdoor air (30cm), indoor air (10cm), outdoor air (30-200cm), and indoor air (10-110cm), respectively.
  • A report by the College of Civil Engineers in Tenerife has confirmed that ash from the eruption would be suitable for regenerated black sand beaches elsewhere in the archipelago, after comparing samples with sand from black sand beaches in the north of Tenerife.
  • The Cabildo de La Palma and Involcan have signed a new collaboration agreement. Among other things, goals include to maintain the existing monitoring networks and strengthen education, training and awareness about the volcanic hazards on the island.
  • The latest update on the post-eruptive activity of the volcano by PEINPAL shows contiuining minimal seismic activity and SO2 emissions, although high CO2 levels are still recorded by Puerto Naos and La Bombilla, and also close to the main cone.
  • A study by INGV and Involcan has concluded that the current classification schemes for explosive basaltic eruptions do not adequately describe the activity of the eruption in La Palma. Specifically, by using very high-speed footage of the eruption, they were able to measure mass flux rate and the different pulses of the eruption.


  • 3,048 people affected by the volcano were seen by the charity Caritas in 2022, a charity which offers among other things a listening service. They concluded the main issues are a lack of housing, lack of work on the island, loneliness from the loss of communities and increasing social inequality.
  • The new president of the Cabildo de La Palma, Sergio Rodríguez, has announced that his government will have an office dedicated to those affected by the volcano. This will be a subdivision of the Ministry of Infrastructure and will be a technical team made up of lawyers, surveyors, architects and more. The municipality of Los Llanos has similarly announced it will create a specific department for those affected by the volcano.
  • The latest figures show that the Insurance Compensation Consortium, set up by the government to help those affected, has so far paid out €232.43 million, with 98.5% of the 12,761 requests received being resolved. Of this amount, €192.84 million has gone on building and community damage, with €27.53 million going to shops, hotels and offices, and €10.43 million going to industries, and €1.63 million to vehicle damage. New applications are still being accepted by the consortium. Further stats shows that €15.6 million has been allocated from donations received to the Cabildo de La Palma.
  • The €30,000 contribution of aid for those affected by the volcano continues to slowly be paid by the Government of the Canary Islands. 24 more families have now received this payment, taking the total up to 308. However, €594,808 was paid to these 24 families, averaging out at €24,784 per family.
  • The Spanish Government has allocated a further €10 million for the reconstruction of farms in La Palma, as part of support measures agreed in October and December 2021. The first €18.8 million of the promised €30 million for these measures was transferred in November 2021.
  • More than €25 million has been allocated to 600 farmers across La Palma, which came through the Government of the Canary Islands via the Rural Development Program, which can be paid from now until May 2024. They are intended for things such as replacement machinery and infrastructure repairs.


  • The Volcano Law, a decree entered into parliament by the platforms of those affected by the volcano to give them a right to ‘a quick and fair socioeconomic recovery’ for the 2021 and any subsequent eruptions, has begun collecting signatures. Because of the mechanism used to lodge the law, it requires 15,000 signatures before it can begin the process of debating and ratification in parliament. So far, it already has over 4,000 signatures. 
  • The La Laguna-Las Norias road has been closed throughout the month for technical works, which have involved installing barriers, pipes and cables along its edges, widening the road, connecting it with other new tracks to access remaining homes isolated by the lava flows, and to pave the carriageways. The work is expected to be completed by mid-July.
  • Work has begun on the first house to be rebuilt on a plot affected the lava flows, on the site of the owner’s previous home which was destroyed by the lava flow. The plot, next to La Laguna School, belongs to a resident of La Laguna and has undergone a series of tests on the temperature and stability of the lava flow surrounding the plot.
  • Permits to recover banana plantations affected by the lava flows have begun to be allocated. So far, work has removed lava from five banana plantations so that they can begin to be recovered. For this, farmers need building permits, a draft project, associated aids and temperature surveys of the lava flows on the plot of land. The practice of recovering agriculture from lava flows, known as sorriba, has been done previously on the island most notably after the 1949 eruption.
  • The local NGO Tierra Bonita has warned about an ‘alleged exploitation’ of aggregates from the lava flows on private property. It states that proposed and explorations for the commercialisation of the material from the 2021 eruption is being done without the consent of the landowners whose houses were where the lava flows now stand. It is understood some of those affected have been seeking legal advice over these issues. The NGO is also looking for qualified drone pilots to aid them in collecting thermal images of the cooling of the lava flows, data which is currently not made publicly available by the authorities.
  • The Cabildo continues to open up more tracks to those houses isolated from the lava flows. The latest is the 600m long Callejón de Morena, which is reached by a track from the La Laguna-Las Norias road.
  • In the first year since the decree was passed, Los Llanos have allocated 145 licences to those affected to build on rustic land, allowing them to rebuild homes where before they would have not been able.
  • 106 people affected by the volcano are still living in hotels, although 10 of these have a home confirmed and are waiting to move in the coming weeks.

Other updates: 

  • The NGO Tierra Bonita and representatives of those affected have met with the new president of the island, Sergio Rodríguez, to discuss their involvement in the reconstruction plans and the issues they are facing.
  • The director of La Palma Travel Ulrich Roth has argued that the image of the island as ‘dangerous’ after the volcanic eruption is contributing to keeping tourists away from the island. He believes that this has also contributed to the cancellation of many direct flights to La Palma from Germany since the eruption.
  • A new exhibition ‘Ceniza y Lava’ has opened, showing a scientific journey to the La Palma eruption. It is situated at the Museum of Science and the Cosmos (MCC) in Tenerife, and will remain there until February 2024.
  • La Palma has received two of the 48 ‘black flags’ given to Spain for poor environmental management by the organisation Ecologists in Action. One was given to the under construction Pier in La Bombilla, which is unpopular with the local population, and the water pipe that routes across the lava delta, which the government has already received a €1.3 million fine for not complying with regulations during the project.

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

News articles

El Time 15 million euros to promote geothermal energy on La Palma here 

El Time – The Cabildo has delivered 15.6 million to those affected by the volcano with donations and own funds – here 

La Palma Ahora The Communication team of the Government of the Canary Islands obtains a national award for its management of the volcano crisis in La Palma here

La Palma Ahora – The Cabildo recovers the Callejón de Morera in Los Llanos to give access to houses isolated by the volcano – here

La Palma Ahora – The Government of the Canary Islands allocates more than 25 million to 600 farmers affected by the La Palma volcano – here 

La Palma Ahora La Palma, in seismic calm here

La Palma Ahora – Cabildo and Involcan sign an agreement to strengthen research for the reduction of volcanic risk in La Palma – here 

El Time – The new Volcano Law will be retroactive; effective from September 18, 2021 – here 

La Palma Ahora – Zapata: “The concentration of gases in Puerto Naos and La Bombilla is increasing”- here 

La Palma Ahora – The Government pays complementary aid of 30,000 euros to another 24 families who lost their homes due to the volcano- here 

El Time -The Cabildo will complete the La Laguna – Las Norias road in mid-July, with the entire route paved – here

El Time -Forced ventilation reaches the basement of buildings affected by gases in Puerto Naos – here

La Palma Ahora- The Volcanoes Law already has 3,400 supports and the collection of signatures is transferred to Tenerife- here

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


Access photography taken around this time

  • Resiste La Palma – The new coastal highway between Tazacorte and Puerto Naos – here 
  • Resiste La Palma – Drone imagery of Tajogaite June 2023 – here

Environment maps

The exclusion zones map 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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