Synopsis

Lava Bombs: Truths Behind The Volcano captures the explosive stories behind the crisis and response to the 2021 Volcán de Tajogaite eruption in Cumbre Vieja on La Palma in the Canary Islands.

Tajogaite was the largest and most destructive eruption in La Palma for the last 500 years. It caused around €1 billion in damage, displacing over 7,000 people and destroying over a thousand homes and plantations.

Lava Bombs reveals the heavy impact of this major disaster, through the voices of the affected people, emergency managers, politicians and scientists, as well as showcasing spectacular imagery captured by witnesses, news crews and drone pilots.

For the first time, Lava Bombs digs deep into the responses of authorities before and during a dramatic emergency of this kind, looking past the headlines at the intense pressure of monitoring and managing an overwhelming natural disaster in the glare of the international media and providing a platform for the citizens at the heart of the destruction to share their incredible testimony.

Lava Bombs shows how the ongoing human disaster on La Palma is not just a product of ash, lava and explosions, but is being compounded by a man-made, post-eruptive catastrophe. Themes of communication, trust and missteps are analysed as we start to look towards lessons learned for future emergencies of all kinds. 

We are eternally grateful to all of those who took part, recording their testimony for posterity at a time of incredible stress so valuable lessons can be drawn for the future. We hope it will lead to further constructive discussion and analysis so the lessons that have been hard won in La Palma can assist in emergency management and response of all kinds around the globe.

Lava Bombs: Truths Behind The Volcano is a one-hour documentary co-produced by GeoTenerife and New Light Studio. It is directed by Alexander Whittle and produced by Sharon Backhouse. 

The documentary is a distillation of GeoTenerife’s ongoing #VolcanoStories project, preserving valuable testimony and research from the eruption of Tajogaite volcano. #VolcanoStories will be available to view at www.geotenerife.com/VolcanoStories from September 19 2022.

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