In recent days, the eruption of Spain’s Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma in the Canary Islands moved many spectators around the world.
Lava advanced over several towns on the island, devastating everything in its path. The volcano last erupted in 1971. Experts say the lava could last for weeks, or even months.
The lava is “advancing very slowly” towards the Atlantic Ocean. It already destroyed more than 150 homes and almost 200 buildings. Currently, the masses of molten stone are approaching Todoque, Spain. The community is fighting to save the church and the school.
The Church of St. Pius X is located in the volcano’s lava path on the way to the ocean. Church parishioners rushed to save what they could carry, including benches, crosses, and other items.
Here’s some photos of the evacuation:
Here’s the church’s interior after saving elements of its heritage:
After saving some items, parish priest Fr. Alberto Hernández dedicated time to finding help for neighbors left homeless.
“They are humble, simple, and hardworking people. There are farmers and some officials,” the priest said. “People who built their own homes and lived on the countryside. Let us trust that the authorities respond and aid will arrive.”
Another community concern is preventing the volcanic lava from destroying the parish structure. Neighbors and firefighters work tirelessly to place material barriers to divert the course of the molten stone.
Here’s a video of lava advancing over the town and approaching the church:
— Carlo (@carlotronico) September 22, 2021
Below, neighbors place barriers to save their church:
— RTVC (@RTVCes) September 22, 2021
Meanwhile, Diocese of Tenerife Bishop Bernardo Álvarez expressed his “closeness and solidarity” with the victims.
“I pray to God for everyone. Especially for the sick, the elderly and those with mobility problems,” the bishop stated.
“May the Lord give you patience and strength. I entrust the Virgin Mary of the Snows [patron saint of the island], to whom I ask that this phenomenon of nature cause the least possible damage and pass soon.”
Our Lady of the Snows, please pray for all affected by the volcano eruption!
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