Over 5,000 People Evacuated As Volcano Erupts On Spain’s La Palma Island

Over 5,000 People Evacuated As Volcano Erupts On Spain’s La Palma Island

MADRID, Sept 20 (NNN-AGENCIES) – Between 5,000 and 10,000 people are being evacuated, after a volcano began erupting on La Palma island, Spain’s Canary Islands yesterday noon.

Regional authorities confirmed that the evacuations have begun, in the wake of the eruption, which began at 3:12 p.m. local time, on the Cumbre Viejo volcano.

The eruption came after a week, in which over 20,000 earthquakes were measured on the La Palma island, the second youngest of the Canary Islands.

A quake of around 4 points on the Richter Scale, announced the start of the eruption, with TV images capturing lava, smoke and ash being expelled from five fissures on the hillside, although by 10:00 p.m. lava was escaping from seven different apertures.

Although no casualties have been reported, several properties, as well as, woodland and pasture, have been destroyed by the lava flow, which is advancing towards the sea on the south-west coast of the island.

Last night, authorities began evacuating an estimated 5,000 people from the municipalities of El Paso, Tazacorte and Los Llanos de Aridane, in accordance with plans set up in the framework of the Canary Island Volcano Emergency Plan.

Around 40 people with reduced mobility had previously been evacuated, and farm animals have also been moved from the area, while schools in the area will be closed today. The lava flow has cut the AP 212 road and affected another four, which are now closed.

Meanwhile, residents have been advised to remain indoors, to close doors and windows, to take care to wash fruits and vegetables, to avoid being affected by volcanic ash.

Twelve units from the Tenerife fire brigade travelled by ferry to the island to assist, while the Canary Islands government requested help of Spanish Military Emergency Unit (UME).

Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, arrived on the island at around 9:00 p.m., after cancelling a planned trip to the United States, where he was going to attend the General Assembly of the United Nations.

La Palma has a surface area of just over 700 square kilometres and a population of almost 85,000 people. It experienced seven recorded eruptions since records began. The last two eruptions took place in 1949 and 1971, with the last of those lasting for 10 days.

Experts predicted that the new eruption will continue for several days, but could last for weeks.– NNN-AGENCIES


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