Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Why September 11th will never be forgotten on La Gomera

The whole world now remembers 9/11, but on La Gomera the date has an added very sad dimension since the year 1984. On that day 29 years ago twenty people died in a forest fire near Roque Agando, a landmark rock formation in La Gomera's mountains above the village of La Laja where a forest fire had broken out. The spot is on an exposed ridge and the victims were trapped there when the wind suddenly changed direction enclosing them in fire and intense heat. Among the victims were locals and some people from Tenerife, including a former mayor of Puerto de la Cruz. The tragedy is one of the worst fire-related disasters in all of Spain ever and a sad-looking rusty steel monument near the spot lists all 20 names of the victims. The area around Roque Agando which stands at the eastern end of the national park was ablaze again in last year's devastating fires, but thankfully there were no casualties in 2012.
Roque Agando, the huge remnant core of a long eroded volcano, near where the tragedy occurred

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