The recovery of La Palma continues after the downgrade from the red alert level to the yellow level on the 31st January, which switched management of the recovery from the Canary Islands Government to the Island Council of La Palma. Despite the reduction in alert level, evacuees from the La Bombilla and Puerto Naos areas near the coast directly to the south of the lava flows remain unable to return due to very high levels of CO2 still being recorded in the area.

In the last week, the island of La Palma has taken further steps towards its recovery from the volcanic eruption. Firstly, on the 19th January, it was announced by the Maritime authorities that the maritime exclusion zones off the western coast of La Palma would be reduced from two nautical miles to half a nautical mile between the towns of La Bombilla and San Borodón.

The return of 800 more evacuated people to areas south of the lava flows took place as planned today. In the area Puerto Naos to the south coast of the lava flows, which remains evacuated due to the persistence of gases, new CO2 concentration data published by Involcan highlights this issue. Between the 9th and 17th of January, an optical CO2 sensor was installed in the ground floor of a building in Puerto Naos to measure the accumulation of gases.

PEVOLCA have announced today that as of 9am on Tuesday the 18th January, the exclusion zone surrounding the volcano and lava flows will be further reduced, allowing around 800 more evacuated people to return to their homes. The newly opened zone comprises much of the area directly to the south of the lava flow field, and includes the settlements of Las Norias, Hoya del Verdugo, Morro de los Judíos, Las Manchas, Cuatro Caminos, San Nicolás and south of camino José Pons la Jurona.