Councils should Ignore the Law & an Earth Bound Asteroid in Tenerife News of the Week

Tenerife Magazine’s round up of some of the most interesting news stories of the week in Tenerife.

El Hierro Eruption Update
The undersea eruption at El Hierro continues to bubble away with no-one really sure what is going to happen next ““ nature can be a bit like that. Some are excited by the idea that the eruption will result in the emergence of a new island or volcano whereas others claim this is unlikely to happen.

The main development during the week was the appearance of a huge turquoise stain on the sea caused by the earth discharging its volcanic substances. A five mile exclusion zone has been established around the area of the undersea eruption whilst scientists monitor the situation.

Residents of La Restinga on El Hierro haven’t been allowed to return to their homes yet but that’s supposed to be because of the overpowering smell of sulphur in the area which scientists say is too unpleasant to live with rather than toxic.

The situation has remained stable throughout the week, although seismic activity has continued, with low level tremors being registered mostly on El Hierro but also between Tenerife and Gran Canaria and at Buenavista del Norte on Tenerife.

The Canarian Government continues to reassure that the eruption poses no danger.

No Money For Cyclists
Plans to bring Vuelta a España, one of Europe’s major cycle races, to the Canary Islands and Tenerife in 2012 have been reported as hitting a dead end because the Canarian Government doesn’t have the budget to finance the Canary Islands” stage of the race. The Tenerife leg had been agreed and would have included a route that took cyclists up to Mount Teide, but it isn’t going to happen in 2012.
Plans haven’t been totally abandoned and it’s hoped that the Vuelta a España will come to these shores in 2013.

Amateur Astronomers Spot Asteroid Heading Towards Earth
A member of a team of amateur astronomers visiting the Teide Observatory Tenerife Asteroid Survey (TOTAS) in September identified an asteroid on a trajectory towards earth that was considered close enough to be categorised as posing an impact threat.

However, the asteroid, imaginatively named 2011 SF108, shouldn’t come closer than about 30 million kilometres from Earth, so not one to lose any sleep over.

Tenerife Mayor Suggests Councils Shouldn’t Stick to the Law
Love him or hate him, when the dependably controversial Mayor of La Orotava, Isaac Valencia, opens his mouth what comes out is never banal.

During a 45 minute speech last week, he aimed his shotgun mouth at a number of targets and confirmed what some of us suspected by apparently suggesting Tenerife’s councils shouldn’t stick to the law. He said to ignore the law would be brave. No Isaac, it would be a crime.
He bemoaned the loss of the past when running a council was much simpler because there weren’t as many rules or laws to have to abide by. Aaah, those halcyon days when there was nothing to prevent unlimited greed and corruption.

The mayor also levelled his verbal barrage at the south of Tenerife when he spoke of the barbarities that had been carried out in the name of tourism saying that much of the money that had been ploughed into developing tourism in the south had arrived in suitcases via the port of Los Cristianos. The southern councils were blasted for allowing many tourism projects to be carried out illegally in Arona and Adeje where he said that councils had handled a lot of money, yet didn’t charge for taxes or licences for a number of hotels.

Isaac Valencia also confirmed another suspicion about how up-to-date with the modern world some of Tenerife’s politicians are by proudly stating that he didn’t own a mobile phone or know how to use a computer.

Yup, this is Tenerife…where ignorance is a virtue.

Great stuff Isaac, keep it coming.

And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to”¦Endesa.
We may joke about the frustrations that can occasionally be caused by Tenerife’s utility companies” quirky little ways but sometimes these go beyond a joke. Two residents of the El Rosario municipality have resorted to staging a hunger strike to force the local authorities and Endesa, the electricity company, into action after enduring five years without electricity.

The pair, who are camped in a tent outside of El Rosario’s town hall, have now gone five days without food to raise awareness of their cause after taking their complaints to the courts in Santa Cruz proved a fruitless exercise.

As is so often the case on Tenerife, there’s a bit of a right hand and a left hand situation with the local council saying that the couple will have electricity within 48 hours but Endesa stating they’ll only turn on the light when a judge orders them to do so.

Sadly on Tenerife there’s always someone else to blame. It is exactly this mentality that will always hold the island back.

El Hierro Image courtesy of the National Geographic Institute (IGN)