Photo: Arona Ayuntamiento.
Updated 4pm: A large crowd turned out this lunchtime to pay their respects with a minute’s silence outside Los Cristianos Cultural Centre. The families of the victims were there, with members of the rescue operation, security and emergency teams, as well as the council itself, and three mayors from southern municipalities … and that’s without counting the very many individual members of the public who wanted to express their shock, grief and solidarity.
Arona mayor José Julián Mena, in the name of the municipality, gave a short address to those present:
Hoy no estoy aquí como alcalde. Soy solo un vecino más, conmocionado por esta tragedia que ha sumido a nuestro pueblo en el pesar. En estos días, he visto a centenares de personas trabajando sin descanso, luchando para ayudar, para rescatar, para atender, para ofrecer un abrazo cuando más hacía falta.
Hoy solo soy una voz más de miles que quieren trasladar su apoyo, solidaridad, pésame y condolencias a las familias y amigos de las víctimas.
Pero también estoy aquí para hablar en nombre de tantos y tantas que quieren agradecer al pueblo de Los Cristianos su infinito apoyo y afecto en estos días tan duros. Sus acciones demuestran los valores firmes y sólidos que definen a este pueblo.
Toda Canarias se siente orgullosa de los vecinos y vecinas de Los Cristianos y de Arona. Y nosotros queremos agradecer a toda Canarias que nos hayan arropado y ofrecido su ayuda”.
This translates as:
I am not here today as mayor, but as just one more neighbour shocked by this tragedy that has plunged our community into grief. In the last few days I have seen hundreds of people working without rest, fighting to help, to rescue, to assist, to offer a hug when needed.
Today, I am just one more voice among thousands who want to show their support, solidarity, grief and condolences to the families and friends of the victims.
But I’m also here to speak for so many who want to thank the people of Los Cristianos themselves for their limitless support and care over these such hard days. Their actions show the strong and solid values which characterize our people.
The whole of the Canaries is proud of the people of Los Cristianos and Arona. And we ourselves want to thank the whole of the Canaries for taking us under their wing and offering their help.
The mayor didn’t say it, so I will, that he himself has been there throughout the whole of this period, not just as one more neighbour, but as an active pair of hands and a tireless support rallying and comforting the full range of services involved in the rescue operation. “Just one more” does not do it justice.
After the minute’s silence, there were various meetings for the 90 or so still evacuated from adjoining buildings, and work continues to inform them of the current situation, and to assure them that they will be able to go home at the earliest possible moment. The council gave them a conducted site visit so they could see for themselves the situation that was being described to them. They are also being given psychological help by the council as necessary, and their day-to-day needs are also being taken care of by the social services department.
I may as well also say, because it will occur to most readers – thank god that if this tragedy had to happen, it happened under this administration, and this mayor.
Original post 18 April: The Ayuntamiento has issued a public invitation to any and all representatives, administrations, institutions and the public at large, anyone at all who would like to join a minute’s silence in respect of those who died in the collapse of the building at 12 C/, Amalia Alayón/Calle Valle Menéndez, and as a gesture of sympathy, solidarity and support for the families of the seven vitims. The minute’s silence will be held at 12 noon, today, 18 April, in the Plaza del Pescador, outside the Los Cristianos Cultural Centre.
Adeje will also hold a minute’s silence and invites anyone who wishes to attend to pay respects. It will also be at 12 noon toay at the main entrance to the Ayuntamiento at the top of Calle Grande in Adeje.
The Cabildo will also be holding one at the main entrance to the Cabildo in Santa Cruz, again at 12 noon. Many other Ayuntamientos too have announced the same, all at 12 noon and all at the main entrances to the town halls. In all these cases, the public is explicitly invited, and will be welcome, to attend to pay their respects.