Back in June we at the EZE Group helped evacuate a small group of tourists staying with us on the small and beautiful island of El Hierro.
The EZE Group’s help is not required today, for the simple reason there’s no one to evacuate. By no one, I mean of course no tourists (sadly there may soon be plenty of people to evacuate). These days the only visitors brave enough to visit the island today are doing so for professional reasons: seismologists, vulcanologists, the military and those government experts knowledgable in emergency evacuation and medical care.
For deep below the surface things are happening, things which mean tourism will at least for the time being be put on hold. Tremendous seismic activity may be keeping the tourists away,there are more packed bags around though, but today it’s the residents sitting with with packed luggage. Alas not the baggage of holidaymakers, but the suitcases and bundles of refugees.
The portents of impending doom are everywhere and constant; the air is rich with the smell of sulphur, underwater emissions of gas and lava cause dead fish to rise to the surface, destroying El Hierro’s rich marine reserves,tremendous seismic activity (11,000 tremors in the last four months), the islands schools constantly practice emergency drills. The last and strongest tremor arriving when most of the island asleep, a nerve shattering 4.6 on the richter scale, the noise described as a deep, prolonged and terrifying roar must have made insomniacs of even the island deepest sleepers.
For those of us living and working on Tenerife the perils or El Hierro seem far distant. They might be on another continent, but we should all stop to reflect the Canaries are all volcanic islands, the science of volcanic prediction is in it’s infancy, who could say that that yellow alert on Tenerife which last from 2004 to 2008 might not come back and come back a much darker colour than yellow. The EZE Group like everyone else watches and waits.