25 Sep, 2021 @ 16:15
1 min read

OPINION: Fire and brimstone brings out Spain’s ‘Blitz Spirit’

Spain La Palma Volcano Eruption
(210924) -- LA PALMA, Sept. 24, 2021 (Xinhua) -- Police officers stop people from approaching the Cumbre Vieja volcano in La Palma, Spain, on Sept. 23, 2021. On Wednesday, the Vulcanology Institute of the Canary Islands (INVOLCAN) estimated the eruption could last for 24-84 days. The volcano currently emits between 6,140 and 11,500 tons of Sulphur dioxide (SO2) every day. Although six roads on the island have been closed due to the eruption, La Palma airport remains open with 48 flights scheduled for Thursday. Nevertheless, the airline Tui has cancelled all its flights to the island. (Photo by Gustavo Valiente/Xinhua) - Gustavo Valiente -//CHINENOUVELLE_XxjpbeE007008_20210924_PEPFN0A001/2109240824/Credit:CHINE NOUVELLE/SIPA/2109240944 *** Local Caption *** 01039913

IN Britain we call it the ‘Blitz Spirit’- that sense of community that brings people together in the face of great adversity, not just to make the best of it but to reach out and go the extra mile to really help those that need it.

There may not be an equivalent term in Spanish (and if there is, please write in and tell us) but here – as in the worn-torn London of World War Two when the German bombs rained down – people certainly have the propensity to behave the same way.

The wildfire that ravaged the hills above the Costa del Sol earlier this month served to bring out the very best in the Costa del Sol community.

People were united in despair as they watched hillsides burn.

They rallied round to offer shelter to those fleeing from their homes as the blaze threatened to devour properties.

And in the aftermath of the tragedy, once the flames were dampened, people haven’t forgotten the debt owed to firefighters who risked everything, and who tragically lost one of their own.

When the brigades returned from the hills it was rightfully to a heroes’ welcome in Estepona and fundraising efforts to rebuild lives are continuing in a material show of appreciation.

A similar drama is now playing out in the Canary Islands where forces of nature are to blame instead of a despicable act of arson from a particularly evil individual.

But there too, we’ll see that the human spirit will not be broken and as homes are ripped apart, community roots grow stronger.

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