Displaying items by tag: Spain

Friday, 15 July 2022 10:01

Europe: wildfires rage in heatwave

All week Europe has been battling wildfires fuelled by soaring temperatures in Portugal, France, Turkey and Spain. Pray for 3,500 Portuguese firefighters battling dozens of blazes in record-breaking temperatures. Pray for the 600 people in Leiria who were forced out of their homes, and over 3,000 who were evacuated in Turkey. Pray for devastated people like 77-year-old Adelino, a Portuguese farmer who said, ‘Everything burned. It looked like the end of the world.’ Pray for Spanish farmers who have lost over 70,300 hectares. Pray for 1,000 French firefighters trying to control two major wildfires. 4,000 hectares have already burned in southwest France.

Published in Europe
Friday, 01 July 2022 15:09

Global: Probes into migrant deaths

Five human rights organisations want Spain and Morocco to investigate the deaths of 18 migrants, the injuries of 76 others, and the actions of 140 Moroccan security officers when migrants attempted to scale a fence separating the two countries. Spain's Commission for Refugees decried ‘indiscriminate use of violence to manage migration and control borders had prevented people who were eligible for international protection from reaching Spanish soil’. Meanwhile, UNHCR is asking both Africa and Europe to enhance legal frameworks and operational capacities at land and sea borders and urban centres plus youth programming and local community-based development as alternatives to dangerous journeys. In America the bodies of 51 dead migrants were discovered inside a lorry in San Antonio. An official said they found ‘stacks of bodies and no water in the truck. Sixteen survivors are in hospital with heat stroke and exhaustion, including four minors. No children were among the dead. See

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 21 October 2021 21:12

Canary Islands: a month of volcanic activity

Unfortunately, there has been no change in activity in the Canary Islands volcano; the eruption continues to feed the growing lava flow field at high effusion rates. Its northern margins continue to be active and advancing south into areas already buried under lava flows. Consequently the government has had to evacuate another adjacent area.

Published in Europe
Friday, 15 October 2021 09:57

Canary Islands volcano danger growing

Lava from the Cumbre Vieja volcano, which has been erupting for four weeks, has destroyed even more homes and buildings. The two new vents that opened last week have partially collapsed, causing lava to flow in multiple directions. The local airport was closed again for two days and 800 more homes were evacuated as rapid flows of molten lava moved towards them, bursting homes into flames. There were 64 more seismic movements recorded, the strongest measuring 4.1. There are no signs of eruptions and earthquakes stopping soon. Over 1,100 buildings and 600 hectares of land had been destroyed by 13 October, and the next day the lava flows expanded again with even more evacuations ordered in three more areas.

Published in Europe

The Canary Islands volcano has blown open two more fissures, and intense activity has worsened, three weeks after the original eruption. The prompt evacuation of more than 6,000 people since the 19 September eruption helped prevent casualties. By 3 October the lava had destroyed or partially destroyed 1,000+ buildings, including homes and farming infrastructure. By 7 October it had destroyed 21 miles of roads and entombed large areas of land, with no indication of lessening. 

Published in Europe
Thursday, 30 September 2021 22:36

Spain: update on La Palma volcano

Lava from La Palma’s volcano has now reached the Atlantic Ocean. When this happens there is a chemical reaction as hot lava boils the colder sea water. Volcanologist Dr Robin Andrews said, ‘It creates a steam of hydrochloric acid, water vapour and bits of ash. Volcanic explosions are possible because lava entering sea water creates a pressure-cooker situation that throws out volcanic debris.’ Authorities have set up an exclusion zone around the lava, including in the sea, to keep people away from any potential danger. Three coastal villages are now locked down. Please continue to pray for the hundreds of families whose homes were destroyed by lava, the 6,000+ evacuated people, the owners of destroyed banana plantations and businesses, and the pupils and parishioners of destroyed schools and a church. Authorities declared La Palma a disaster zone. Pray there will be enough financial support for everyone affected.

Published in Europe
Thursday, 23 September 2021 21:58

Spain: Canary Islands volcano eruption

A volcano on the island of La Palma began erupting on 19 September, sending streams of lava and plumes of smoke and ash into the air. A small earthquake preceded the eruption, causing thousands of residents to flee their homes and prompting authorities to begin evacuating the infirm and farm animals from nearby villages before the volcanic activity. By 20 September three streams of lava were pouring down towards the sea, moving at 2,300 feet per hour, and 6,000 people had evacuated their homes. Two days later new cracks started spewing more lava and four earthquakes shook the area. Families raced to save what they could from their homes in a two-hour window granted by emergency workers. The lava had already destroyed 300 homes, and overwhelmed roads, farms, a school, and swimming pools. Pray for those in temporary shelters not knowing when they will return home, fearing their homes might be engulfed by lava. Seismologists played down the attendant risk of an Atlantic tsunami.

Published in Europe

Andalusia in Spain attracts foreigners flocking to beautiful beaches, and migrants flocking to harvest fruit and vegetables. While holidaymakers stay at expensive apartments, hundreds of fruit-pickers live in poverty-stricken, plastic shantytowns. ‘People come and say they are going to save us,’ says Ayoub. ‘They take our picture, but nothing changes. Nothing is ever going to change.’ 600 immigrants live in hovels, dust alleys are strewn with garbage, a dried-up riverbed is the toilet, and electricity is stolen from overhead lines. Ayoub works in hot greenhouses sprawling for miles, unseen by tourists enjoying long lunches, blissfully unaware of the harsh reality behind their salads.

Published in Europe
Thursday, 05 August 2021 21:46

Portugal: drug trafficking

A 79-year-old Spanish woman has been arrested in Portugal over suspicions of leading a drug ring. The 78-year-old woman, who was heading a smuggling group, was arrested in Vila Real, in northern Portugal, along with two other Spaniards, aged 26 and 60, as part of an operation carried out by Spanish and Portuguese police. They were bringing in cocaine through Portuguese ports using a legal company importing coral from the Dominican Republic. The woman was the head of the group as well as the manager and owner of the front company. The group was a wholesaler for other traffickers who then sold the cocaine on the black market in southern Spain.

Published in Europe
Thursday, 20 May 2021 21:45

Spain: migrants swim from Morocco

Thousands of migrants have swum into the Spanish enclave of Ceuta after border controls were relaxed in Morocco. In 24 hours, 6,000 people had paddled in inflatable boats, swum with rubber rings, or walked through the shallows at low tide. 1,500 were thought to be teenagers. Spanish troops were deployed to Ceuta to patrol the border. Moroccan migrants have crossed land and sea borders to Spain by the hundreds for weeks. Adults were transferred to a football stadium and returned to Morocco, minors went to an industrial building. Spanish / Moroccan tensions are high after the leader of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali, was admitted to a Spanish hospital without informing Morocco. The Polisario Front fights for the independence of Western Sahara and contests all Morocco's claims. Many believe lax Moroccan border control, facilitating easy access to Spain, was in retaliation for Spain treating Brahim Ghali.

Published in Europe
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