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Forest fires: evangelicals in La Palma open church facilities

It is estimated that around 3,500 hectares were affected by the fire. “Part of our task is to bring consolation, truth and hope to the people”, the local evangelical pastor says.

FUENTES Actualidad Evangélica AUTOR 5/Evangelical_Focus LA PALMA 19 DE JULIO DE 2023 11:53 h
It is estimated that around 3,500 hectares of he Spanish island of La Palma were affected by the fire. / [link]rtve[/link]

The Charon heat wave, which is affecting all of southern Europe, threatens to raise temperatures to 49ºC and worsen the fires that occur at this time of year in the continent.

One of them is the forest fire that affects the Spanish island of La Palma since Saturday. The situation has improved, although fires are still active in the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, a zone of difficult access.

“Due to the evolution of the fire and after tonight's work, we hope that during Wednesday we will have good news and control the fire”, said the Canary Islands government's Minister for Emergencies, Manuel Miranda.

The area affected has yet to be determined, but it is estimated at around 3,500 hectares.

About 4,000 residents were forced to evacuate on Saturday, although most of them were allowed to return to their homes on Sunday afternoon.

Sources from the security forces confirmed to Canary Radio that the fire may have been caused by the burning of a rubbish container at an evening party, despite warnings not to set fires because of the high temperatures.


Evangelical church in the frontline

Among the evacuated families were several members of the Baptist Church of La Palma in Tijarafe, one of the most threatened areas by the fire, who received a visit from their pastor, Josué Santana, in the same place where hundreds of people were evacuated in 2021 when the Cumbre Vieja volcano erupted.

Santana told Spanish news website Actualidad Evangélica, that “there is enormous sadness, this is one more tragedy suffered by the region that has not yet overcome the physical, economic and psychological aftermath of the eruption”.

[photo_footer]  Baptist Church of La Palma in Tijarafe, 2 years ago. / Baptist Church of La Palma. [/photo_footer] 

“There are people who blame God for so many tragedies, even though in this case it is clear that it is human responsibility for starting the fire, so part of our task is to bring consolation, truth and hope to the people”, he adds.

The La Palma Baptist Church already developed social and charitable initiatives to help many people and families affected by the volcanic eruption.

Now, “we have put our church facilities in Tijarafe at the disposal of those working in the fire-fighting efforts, because our headquarters are on the road leading to one of the fire fronts”, explained Santana.

The La Palma island is still recovering from the volcano that displaced 7,000 people, destroyed 3,000 buildings. The eruption lasted for 85 days.




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