The airport on the island of Fogo, Cabo Verde, was closed Sunday and more than 1,500 citizens have been evacuated from Chã das Caldeiras as fast-moving lava continues flowing after Sunday’s volcanic eruption.
Some people have refused to leave their homes and possessions. The situation in Fogo, Cabo Verde, is changing rapidly.
“Many of the homes in Cha have been consumed by the lava,” said photojournalist, Marcos Rocha de Pina, in an AFKInsider interview. Rocha de Pina was in Chã to shoot photos of the eruption.
“Fire has already entered the national park (Fogo National Park is one of Cabo Verde’s main tourist attractions) and the lava is moving fast,” he said.
Three distinct lava flows have been reported and the lava is moving faster than expected — one meter every five minutes, OceanPress reports.
There is talk of another nearby community being evacuated. The Cabo Verde government is already discussing how to rebuild the area damaged by the volcano and has tapped into the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, the African Development Bank, Arab Development Bank and funds related to disaster relief, Fogo News reports. It has also reached out for international aid.
Experts say earthquakes are possible. The volcanic eruption intensity was upgraded from a level 1 to a level 3 on a scale of 1 to 5. There have been reports of tremors. Experts are comparing Sunday’s eruption to a 1951 eruption — one of the largest registered in Cabo Verde — that was accompanied by earthquakes, according to reports by Cape Verdean volcanologist Bruno Faria, Cape Verde National Radio and DN News.
Some people are trying to travel to the area to view the lava flow.
It is now expected the lava will reach Cha’s vineyards. Cabo Verde’s growing wine industry is considered the only one in the world where wine is produced in the crater of a volcano. Production exceeds the 50,000 bottles a year, Cape Verde News reported last year.
Many Cape Verdeans were frustrated when the eruption occurred on Sunday, Nov. 23. There was initially little or no news on the TV. Here’s what Praia-based Suely Ramos Neves said Monday on her Facebook page:
“After yesterday´s experience with all 4 TV local channels in Cabo Verde not providing breaking news about the eruption of Fogo´s volcano, at all, I am most definitely purchasing a radio. Facebook became the go-to source of information, which is not always the best source because people started posting some pictures that I couldn´t tell if they were from Fogo, and if so, if they were from 2014 or 1995 (the last eruption). And pictures are not enough, as I would like to know what´s really going on with the displaced people and how one can actually provide assistance if not residing on the island of Fogo.”
Since then #erupcaofogo2014 has been created on Facebook to provide nearly up-to-the moment updates as well as a place where people can donate money to be directed to the Red Cross and other charities to aid Fogo’s victims.
Contacted later via email, Ramos said, “The national radio RCV is doing a great job though. That’s the best way to get info up to date.”
More Cabo Verdeans live in the U.S. than on all its nine inhabited islands. A majority (located mostly in Boston, Brockton, Mass., and Providence, Rhode Island) have roots in Fogo. Cabo Verde had a population of 498,897 in 2013.