AGENCY

Erupting volcano on La Palma claims its first victim

The 70-year-old man died after he had been allowed back into the exclusion zone by the authorities

R.C.

A 70-year-old man died on the Canary Island of La Palma at the weekend when the roof of his house collapsed due to the weight of the ash from the erupting volcano.

The El Paso resident was allowed back into the exclusion zone by the authorities with a group of ten other people who were clearing accumulated ash deposits from the area.

According to reports the man went, alone, to his house but while he was there the roof collapsed due to the weight of the material expelled by the volcano. When the group left the area, later, they did not realise that one person was missing.

Drone search

The man’s daughter alerted the authorities that he had not returned and a search operation was activated that included the use of drones: and it was one of those devices which located the body.

The technical director of Pevolca, Miguel Ángel Morcuende, said that roof cleaning is an activity that has been allowed since the accumulation of ash began and is developed in collaboration with the town halls, which must have a record of the people who are going to carry out this work and the information is provided to the Guardia Civil.

Condolences

Morcuende said that the protocol also includes safety conditions that must be met by the people who are going to carry out the cleaning tasks, such as not acting alone or using safety lines to avoid falls.

Finally, Miguel Ángel Morcuende, on behalf of the Pevolca Technical Committee, said he "deeply regretted” the death of the man and offered his condolences to the family.