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

Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria Fires – Almost There! Almost under Control…

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And while the reactions and different news items keep showing up all over the place with folks sharing their thoughts on this tragic set of events, it looks like things are starting to become normalised, to a certain degree, that is, because we cannot say just yet that everything is under control. Not yet. The struggle continues. The fight is there, active, more than ever, to try to put an end to it all. And we are getting there, for sure. Slowly, but steadily. Hopefully, one more day. Just one more day. Tomorrow. Fingers crossed. Best of luck to us all.

Weather conditions have improved quite a bit with temperatures around the 30 degrees Celcius and with hardly any wind, at least, from this side of the island. Definitely, not as windy as in the last couple of days. So there is plenty of hope that everything would be back to normal soon, if we could say that because I doubt things would ever be the same again. Not after watching this catastrophe for over 5 days now.

The first evaluations, editorials, extensive opinions and reviews, reservations, etc. etc. are starting to flourish now, and perhaps I will talk about them some more later on, but I just thought I would leave you for the day with something that I have found incredibly amazing and a life-changing experience, for sure.

Check out the impressive Flickr set of pictures that tonyatlantico has been putting together, where he has been covering what Ayagaures looks like after the fire. A place which is just about 20 minutes by car from where I live. Then also take a look at a couple of pictures I took from the same place some time ago in all its splendour.

All I can say at this moment is that it still hurts… and quite a lot!

(Oh, and don’t forget you can keep up with what the Spanish Gofiosfera is thinking about over at Planeta Canarias)

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Sin Cabeza (Headless)

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Hacía ya tiempo que no había creado ningún artículo en español en ninguno de los blogs que llevo manteniendo durante varios meses, y creo que ya va siendo hora de que vuelva a escribir alguno que otro artículo y así poder llegar un poco más a la blogosfera hispana que últimamente la tengo un poco abandonada.

Y me alegro de que me re-encuentre con la blogosfera hispana haciendo referencia a una viñeta que el gran, e insuperable, J.R. Mora (JRMora) compartió no hace muchas horas con motivo de los diferentes desastres ecológicos que se están dando tanto en Tenerife como en Gran Canaria y que expresa muy, pero que muy bien, algunos de los mixed feelings por los que he ido pasando durante los últimos días.

No tiene desperdicio y desgraciadamente no será la última vez. ¿Hasta cuándo?

Aquí tenéis la viñeta en sí:

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Gran Canaria and Tenerife Disasters and Some Mixed Feelings

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While the news items keep popping up on what has been named as Gran Canaria‘s worst ecological disaster in recent history, we can already start seeing some folks coming out of the places where they have been hiding for a while, looking for those who should be responsible for such tragic set of events. Yes, that is right, while we are starting to witness some of the political games coming from various fronts, all of them blaming someone else, probably like it usually happens in these cases (Blame your neighbour, it’s easier), the fires are still blazing away while we all hope that the high temperatures and the strong winds would give everyone a break to finish off the job.

Over the course of the last few hours, there have been a number of different webloggers commenting further on what is actually happening out there and I just thought I would share a few links in here to give you a sense of some of the mixed feelings that we are all going through these tough times:

Canarias está ardiendo
Arde Gran Canaria (5)
Hace fuego
El incendio de Canarias en la red
Incendio en Canarias: el fuego arrasa reservas de la biosfera
Arde Canarias
Fuego arrasa 65 por ciento superficie “Palmitos Park” y afecta a 60 por ciente animales y plantas
— Special Canariasbruta coverage
Mi isla se quema

I have been sharing a few pictures already over here on what is going on at the moment, but I would strongly encourage you to have a look and check this weblog post, Pictures, from Isle of Gran Canaria, to see the kind of impact that this disaster is having.

And, like you would not have expected otherwise, the first video clips from YouTube are starting to emerge. So instead of sharing some more additional pictures I am just going to embed some of the dramatic clips put together thus far:

Finally, here is a detailed description of the events as they are happening and courtesy from Canarias7. And thank goodness, it looks like things are starting to improve a bit as mentioned in Gran Canaria tiene “estabilizados” todos los focos tras 100 horas de incendio, pero desconfía de las cambios de viento. Although, still on guard, of course.

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Dramatic Weekend in Gran Canaria … and Now Tenerife, Too! – Part II

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And while several different fires continue to spread around the South-West of the island of Gran Canaria (With one soldier injured at the moment) and while there are more and more news items coming through just as horrifying as the previous ones, things are getting a whole lot worse now with another massive fire spreading around like mad in Tenerife, the other major island from the Canary Islands.

So far here in Gran Canaria 10,000 hectares have burned with 5,200 people evacuated, whereas in Tenerife it is already going for 13,695 hectares and 4,200 people on the move. An unprecedented catastrophe for all of the Canary Islands and Spain, no doubt! From here onwards, here is a positive message going out to everyone affected to let you all know: we will get things back again in shape soon, we have to, we don’t have a choice, we will:

[…] sólo os puedo decir que no olvidéis ni permitáis que os hagan olvidar.” (Comment in Spanish from a weblog post shared in Mangas Verdes by Dani)

Here are some more pictures from the catastrophe thus far:

Courtesy from Pablo César, a.k.a. pcesarperez / AdAstra

Courtesy from artevirgo (Impressive set of pictures):

Courtesy from Víctor, a.k.a. rvr:

And perhaps one of the most impressive, courtesy from GrJMontero (For a more recent one from both Gran Canaria and Tenerife click here):

PS. There is also a Flickr group: Incendio Gran Canaria – Julio 2007, where we can share the pictures we have taken about the fires. Feel free to add yours as time goes by.

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Planeta Canarias – Following the Sad News

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If you would want to follow some more of the tragedy we are going through at the moment, check out the following resources live:

Canarias7
La Provincia

And, specially Planeta Canarias, where a whole bunch of us bloggers are sharing our first impressions of this unforgetable dramatic event!

PS. And, of course, I will be twittering some of my experiences about the whole, unprecedented, event. Stay tuned for more updates…

Oh, and for those folks who have shown their interest and further support a quick word to just simply say “Thanks!” for the concerns and for the support. It is greatly appreciated. I am doing fine for the time being, although it is incredibly impressive to see the fire in the horizon from the several mountains that surround the place I live in, down South of the island!

Update – 3:00 am 31st of July: Here are some more links covering the news on how the fires spread around the South-West of the island into what has been flagged already as the worst catastrophe in history (Of the island, that is):

Wildfires in Gran Canaria
Spain arrests forest ranger who confessed to setting blaze in Canary Islands
Algo se quema
Incendios en Canarias via satélite
Arde Gran Canaria
El fuego arrasa Palmitos Park y el hotel aledaño
Hace fuego
En llamas
Palabra del lector
Have fuego
Vecinos de Fataga y Tunte se niegan a evacuar sus casas, mientras que el próximo núcleo podría ser El Salobre (El Salobre being the village next to the one where I currently live in, El Tablero)

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Dramatic Weekend in Gran Canaria

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I know that this weblog post is very much off topic, and you would have to excuse me for it, but if there are ever pictures out there that would be worth while 1,000 words, the following set would be those that would provide you with a intensive sense of drama, if not tragedy. For all of us:

My dearest paradise is burning and it hurts. It truly hurts…


(Pictures courtesy from JrGMontero, rvr, elesar1)

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