E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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Gran Canaria Fires – Now Officially under Control! Finally!

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I know that over the last few days I have been sharing a number of different weblog posts that do not have much to do with the main topics that I get to discuss over here, but I hope you can understand what we are all going through over here. Catastrophes of this proportion should not, must not, be forgotten. So, today, nearly six days after the fires started in Gran Canaria, I am very happy to share with you all, just in case you may have missed it, that the fires in Gran Canaria are now officially “under control”, according to several news items.

The one in Tenerife is still being stabilised and the one in La Gomera is now also extinguished. It has not been a pretty sight all along for the last few days, having over 35,000 hectares of woodland (Pine trees, mainly) being wiped out between Gran Canaria and Tenerife (Around 20,000 in Gran Canaria alone, one third of the total woodland area from the island!). Yes, I know, the proportions of the disaster are just tragic, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, the horizon is starting to look closer and closer than ever before. And I am very happy to see that. About time, too!

Yes, we all know that things would never be the same. They just won’t, but life goes on and the sooner we recover, the better. I am sure that in the next few days a whole bunch of conversations, discussions, analysis of the situation and whatever else would be put together (I may be able to share some thoughts on those at a later time), but in this weblog post I just wanted to share with you as well some of the magnitude of the disaster at the same time that I would place a whole bunch of links in here around what the international press and media are saying about the last few days.

You would have to remember that the Canary Islands are a very popular holiday destination with over 12 million visitors per year approx. so it is of no surprise the extensive coverage that the fires have been given all over the place, considering that very soon plenty of those tourists may be heading back here again to spend their vacation, specially during the winter time.

It surely is very nice to know that plenty of people out there are thinking about these tragic events and are wishing us all getting back on track soon, including nature doing what it knows best, so for all of that I would want to give a special thanks! for being there and for the support. It is greatly appreciated, to say the least!

So let’s have a look at the international press coverage of the events:

Irish Times, Innovations Report (Germany), Vakantie.PaginaBlog (Netherlands), Trouw (Netherlands), Fok (Netherlands), Handelsblatt (Germany), derStandard (Austria), Die Zeit (Germany), Aftonbladet (Sweden), Aftonbladet (Sweden), Corriere della Sera (Italy), Alice Notizie (Italy), Corriere della Sera (Italy), Le Monde (France), Le Figaro (France), France24 (France), The Times Online (UK), Faz (Germany), IlMessaggero (Italy), Diario de Noticias (Protugal), Bild (Germany).

As you can see from the above links, quite a bit, actually. In the mean time, the blogosphere keeps coming up with more and more updates, some of them with some incredible video footage as well!In this particular link from Canarias7 you would be able to check out some of the different pictures that have been taken over the course of the days that relate to some of the kind of impact this tragic set of events will have on the islands. Just below I have shared a couple of them, courtesy from Canarias7, while I am awaiting for more to come through the Flickr group.

So, the good thing is that fires in Gran Canaria are now officially under control, there would be lots and lots of work that would need to be done, but, at least, we are finally starting to see the light. And that is good news. Now off to the next challenge: bring the entire island to what it once was. A paradise!

(Still is…)

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  1. Just found out the news today (live in Ireland). Am very fond of Gran Canaria, spent 3 weeks in Aguimes last June and have done lots of mountain walking there.

    A real tragedy.

    My very best wishes to you and all in that beautiful island.

  2. Hello folks! Thanks a lot for dropping by and for sharing your feedback with us! Marie-Jose, from what I can see it looks like you certainly have enjoyed your time over here in Gran Canaria and I do hope that whenever you get back you would be able to have just as much fun. I must confess that for about one year I lived in Dublin, Ireland, and in many ways some of the stunning landscapes I was exposed while in there always reminded me of Gran Canaria. Not sure why, all of that green, the mountains, the valleys, etc. etc. When I came over here it reminded so much! Thanks again for the feedback comments and we look forward to seeing you over here again!

    Martín, gracias por los buenos deseos. Yo también espero que la isla se recupere pronto. Seguro que lo hará antes de que nos hayamos dado cuenta de ello y yo desde luego voy a ser uno de los más contentos porque parecerá como aquella parte de mi que una vez me quitaron, ha vuelto.

    ¡Gracias de nuevo y espero que nos podamos ver pronto!

  3. Just want to echo Martin’s feeling in the hope that the Island gets over this disaster as quickly as possible. Nevertheless I can’t help but feel that the landscape will not be the same. For me the beauty and magic of the place was in making the effort to move away from the tourist areas and finding the wonderful luscious inside. The mountains will still be there but it is likely to feel desert like for a while.
    Luis, I live in the middle the Wicklow hills (the mountains near Dublin)and for me they are not nearly as beautiful as mountains like l Aserrador. Hoping to get to GC early nest year.
    Hasta luego.

  4. Hi Marie-Jose! Thanks much for the follow up feedback comments. Appreciated. I certainly agree with you that the island would recover in its due time, but also the landscape is going to be completely different. There is no doubt. However, I am thinking, knowing the island from the three years that I have been here that it would get better. I mean, I have been to multiple different places year after year and they are always improving, so I am not expecting any less. Mother Earth knows a great deal about this and I am sure it would bring us again all of the beauty of this island in those special places.

    Like yourself, one of the things that attracted me from the island in the past years has been the diversity of the island. It is not for nothing that Gran Canaria is well know as a mini-continent for all of the stuff you can find all over the place. You can chose whether you would want to have some sunshine on the beach, or some sunshine up in the mountains, the options are there and will continue to be there. Maybe a little bit different, maybe taking a little bit of time, but eventually they would be there. It would be a matter of time, I am sure.

    Oh, right, excellent stuff, Marie-Jose, I have been to the Wicklow hills and loved it over there as well. It is certainly very different so we will have to exchange experiences next time you come over, which I am sure would see things completely different from today’s devastation. You are on, Marie-Jose! 🙂

    Thanks again for the feedback!

  5. Hola Luis! Voy a estar en Aguimes ….forget it, I’ll continue in English as your English is better than my Spanish…..the first 2 weeks of February. I’m looking forward to visiting my favorite Spanish island again and walking with Grupo Montanero Mogan though unsure what the scenary will be like after the fires. My husband and I would to meet up with you when we’re over but I don’t want to leave my mobile number on your blog pages.
    Regards, MJ

  6. Hi Marie-Jose! Thanks much for dropping by and for the feedback! Apologies for the long delay on the reply. Being travelling to the US, Orlando, and just got back from there.

    Glad to hear you will be coming back to Agüimes the first 2 weeks of Feb. Good stuff! The situation after the fires, I must say, that it has improved, although it’s still going to take a little while before going back to “normal”. Palmitos Park, for instance, will not re-open till August this year. Then there are some other parts where things have improved quite a bit, but you can still see the damaged caused, unfortunately. Either way, it is also the time for the Carnival, so that would be an interesting option as well. They would last over here till Feb 17th!

    I would love to meet up with you guys for a drink or two. You can drop me an e-mail over at elesar1 @ gmail dot com

    Look forward to hearing from you!
    Best! Luis

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