Not since the Mariner’s Darter of 1811 has the Spanish mainland seen such dramatic volcanic activity. With a profound influence on a weather pattern lasting for weeks, the new eruptions have forced villages in Costa Azul, an island 140 miles off Spain’s west coast, to stay inside for long periods.
According to authorities, the Canary Islands require little natural means to live, with the fresh Mediterranean sun and salty Atlantic ocean. But as a result of social housing and tourism pressures, these factors often become too much to bear.
Nicola Alvarez, the mayor of Javea in Calpe, the capital of Costa Azul, told reporters that more than 40,000 residents had left the region since the eruptions began. “Only the young and the very healthy are going out. It’s hard to predict what will happen. There’s the problem of quantity and the problem of quality.”
After a catastrophic eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815, thousands of Spaniards were left without homes as the cloud of ash spread around Europe. It also contributed to a major climate shift and led to an unprecedented temperate regime.