On the island of La Palma, streams of black lava coming from the Cumbre Vieja volcano, have been slowly ploughing westward from the eruption site since Sunday, destroying homes, schools, churches and plantations. "All this is burnt, burnt from the heat and the wind ... The bananas are totally burnt," said Antonio Brito Alvarez, picking off charred black fruit from a tree in his small plantation in the agricultural heartland of Los Llanos de Aridane.
La Palma, an island of about 80,000 people in the Canaries archipelago, depends on banana cultivation for around half its economic output. The volcano has put about 15% of the island's annual production at risk, endangering up to 5,000 jobs.
"Losses are already occurring because the banana is in constant production. It is a plant that requires fairly regular irrigation and almost daily work," Sergio Caceres, manager of the Asprocan banana producers' association, told uk.news.yahoo.com.