Le Palma’s donation center is a place for evacuated residents to find clothes and food, and also a place to comfort each other.
I met Rosy outside, she was picking up a box of cans and fruit for her family. His people were among the first to be evacuated from the island.
She starts crying as soon as she starts talking about the damage from the rash. Her sister comforts her, but there is nothing she can say to change what happened. His cousin lost everything, his house was swallowed up by lava.
Rosy discovered over the weekend that the molten streams missed her home, but she keeps crying thinking of other people who have not been so lucky.
“It’s like a great loneliness, a sadness; we don’t know where we are, it’s really very difficult. But we have strength and we all support each other through uncertainty,” he says.
These are times of extreme uncertainty for the island. Scientists can’t predict when the volcano will stop erupting.
Experts fear what will happen if the lava continues into the sea. The impact would create explosions of toxic vapor filled with hydrochloric acid. It would be dangerous to inhale and irritate the eyes and skin of nearby residents. People in coastal areas are told to stay home.
On the other side of the island there is fear and despair. Padre Domingo Guerra’s church is just outside the evacuated area under the volcano. Some 14 members of his congregation have lost their homes.
“Emotionally it is affecting a lot of people,” he says. “Older people are stronger, but they are afraid of losing even more than they already lost. But younger people are also scared, because it is a new experience, therefore it raises many questions for them. “
The church of Padre Guerra is a refuge from the ash that covers everything on the island. It is dangerous to drive on the roads because the ash makes them slippery.
Every morning since the eruptions began, the islanders have tried to clean ash from sidewalks, including from the roofs of buildings.
They don’t know how long they will have to do this. All they can do is wait to see what happens.