The small island of El Hierro, part of the Canary Islands archipelago received a visit from the Prince and Princess of Asturias on Jan. 30
As reported previously by Digital Journal, the island has been the subject of volcanic activity since the summer of last year and has an undersea volcano forming just off the coast of the island near the town of La Restinga. Over the weekend, there was some further activity from the volcano with a swarm of earthquakes and the sudden shooting of smoking lava stones into the air. The scientific ship in the area has been collecting these stones for analysis.
The visit from the Prince and Princess was partly to reassure the local people on El Hierro that they have not been forgotten and partly to show the world that the Canary Islands are a safe place to visit at a time when tourism activity is high. The couple visited the badly affected town of La Restinga where tourism and other business activities have virtually ground to a halt. The Royal couple were able to see the development of the undersea volcano as they flew from the island of Tenerife by helicopter to El Hierro and spent some time talking to the people of the town and watching a performance by a local dance group.
It just so happens that Jan. 30 was the Prince's 44th birthday, so the residents of El Hierro were able to wish him 'Happy Birthday' as well as show their appreciation that the young couple had taken the time to visit their island. Fourteen youngsters from the local school sang the Spanish version of the Happy Birthday song to him, 'Cumpleaños feliz'. It is expected that the Prince will have a family celebration with the couple's two little girls when they get back to Madrid.