Agriculture on the island of La Palma has been hit hard by natural phenomena in recent months. According to Agroseguro, August's heatwave caused the most damage that any heatstroke has caused to plantations in the history of the Canary Islands, and insurance compensation will surpass 10 million euro. Now, the banana fields are at risk again due to the volcanic eruption that began this Sunday on the island of La Palma. The damage caused by lava, which devastates everything in its path, is sometimes impossible to quantify.
The heatwave mainly affected the banana trees on the west side of the island of La Palma, the area that is also now being hit by the volcano. Furthermore, the lava has descended from the volcanic mouths to the coast, which is where the most valuable plantations - the ones with the best quality- are found.
According to Agroseguro data, in total, the heatwave in August caused damage to 7,400 plots and 1,650 hectares of banana cultivation - i.e. more than 85% of the banana production in the area -, and another 170 hectares insured for wine grapes, avocados, live plants, and vegetables. These farms may again be at serious risk due to the volcanic eruption.
Insurance Compensation Consortium
Agroseguro, which assessed in recent weeks the damage caused by the strong summer heat, stated their documentation was available to all the parties affected interested in applying for new indemnities that, they say, should be borne by the Insurance Compensation Consortium.
The Insurance Compensation Consortium is a public entity that manages the money of the insured and that is in charge of acting in the event of extraordinary events that are not covered by insurers. The Consortium is in charge of covering the damages produced by natural phenomena, such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, floods, cyclones, tsunamis, or the fall of aeroliths.
The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food, Luis Planas, stated on Monday that the Government will take into account the damage that the volcanic eruption of La Palma causes to facilities and farms, in addition to the loss of personal belongings and other damages.