在与持续三个月的火山爆发作斗争之后, 应对冠状病毒大流行带来的旅游困境, 一点运气降落在拉帕尔马的加那利岛.
Spain’s Christmas lottery – the two-century-old tradition that on Wednesday showered €2.4bn in prize money across the country – included a nugget of good news for the hard-hit island as two local kiosks said they had sold winning tickets worth a total of €400,000.
While the amount fell far short of that paid out for the top winning number, worth a total of €516m in prizes, news that a small piece of El Gordo – or the Fat One, as the world’s richest lottery is known – had landed in La Palma sparked jubilation.
“We really needed this,” said Ricardo Cobiella, who uncorked a bottle of champagne after finding out his kiosk had sold €200,000 worth of winning tickets. “People here were in need of a bit of good news.”
One day after the closely followed draw, the identity of the winners remained shrouded in mystery. “If the winner is someone from here, that’s great,” said Cobiella. “And if it’s someone from outside the island, then come to La Palma and spend the money here because we need people to invest in the island’s economic recovery.”
Since mid-September much of life on the island has been dictated by the whims of the Cumbre Vieja volcano. 它 first erupted on 19 九月, spewing ash and rivers of lava that swallowed nearly 3,000 建筑物, decimated the lush banana plantations that drive the island’s economy, 和 forced thousands of people from their homes.
The seismic activity came to a halt last week, leaving the 80,000 residents cautiously optimistic that another piece of good news may be on the way in the coming days, with scientists expected to declare the eruption officially over.
From there the focus will shift to the tremendous task of rebuilding the affected areas. The lava buried parts of key highways and blanketed some areas in a thick layer of ash, leaving parts of the island cut off and without potable water or electricity. While no injuries or deaths have been directly linked to the eruption, many people continue to reel from the mental toll of living through months of roaring eruptions, tremors and sudden evacuations.
“There’s a lot of work to do,” said Cobiella. “And that’s why we’re asking people not to forget La Palma. They need to keep supporting La Palma.”