By Marco Trujillo and Elena Rodriguez
LA PALMA, Spain – Olga Reinoso took advantage of the All Saints Day public holiday to see the erupting volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma but like other tourists she wanted to help islanders whose homes have been destroyed and crops ruined.
Tourists were keen to help La Palma by spending money to boost the island’s economy.
“In a passive way, our way to help is to come here to visit the volcano, which is something unique, but we contribute with money by spending money at hotel, restaurants, car rental,” Reinoso, who is from the nearby island of Fuerteventura, told Reuters.
The Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (Pevolca) has restricted access to the roads near the Cumbre Vieja volcano so that security and emergency teams can operate as visitors arrive for the All Saints’ Day weekend.
However, Pevolca has set up a free bus service so people can access the volcano area from a safe distance.
Since the eruption began on Sept. 19, lava from the volcano has covered nearly 900 hectares (2,200 acres) of land, destroying around 2,000 buildings and many banana plantations.
More than 7,000 people have had to evacuate their homes.
(Reporting by Graham Keeley; Editing by Frances Kerry)