He had been under close surveillance for days due to intense seismic activity. The Cumbre Vieja volcano, on the Spanish island of La Palma, in the Canary archipelago, erupted on Sunday (September 19), local authorities reported. Large columns of smoke, ash and jets of lava escaped from several points of the volcano.
“The eruption started in the Cabeza de Vaca area, in El Paso”, reported on its Twitter account the local government of the island (the cabildo), which has started to evacuate more than 1,000 people in the inhabited areas closest to the volcano. Evacuation has been made compulsory in around ten municipalities placed on high alert and several temporary shelters have been set up.
“The population is asked to exercise extreme caution and stay away from the eruption area to avoid any unnecessary risk”, he continued. “The volcano erupted in a forest area”, said for his part the president of the Canary Islands region, Angel Victor Torres, calling for caution.
The president of the Canary Islands region, Angel Victor Torres, underlined the « chance » that this eruption took place “In a depopulated area” of this island with more than 80,000 inhabitants, one of the seven of the archipelago located off the northwest coast of Africa. According to the projections of the cabildo, the lava flows from the volcano, located in the center of the island, should move southwest towards inhabited and wooded areas, before arriving on the coast. The activity of the island’s airport was not disrupted at 6.30 p.m., assured its manager, the Aena.
# UltimaHora Volcanic eruption occurs in #LaPalma #VigilanciaLaPalma #VolcanLaPalma https://t.co/S1qgDYHR8Y
Several thousand earthquakes since Saturday
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who was due to travel to New York for the United Nations General Assembly, decided to go there immediately. “In view of the situation on the island of La Palma, the President of the Government has postponed his trip planned today to New York and will visit the Canary Islands this afternoon to follow the development of the situation”, reported the press service of the Spanish government in a statement.
Warning signs of the eruption, several thousand low magnitude earthquakes have been recorded since last Saturday by the Canary Islands Volcanological Institute. Millions of cubic meters of magma had also moved inside the volcano while the ground had risen by about 10 centimeters in the area of the volcano.
The authorities, who had told the population to be ready for several days, proceeded a few hours before the eruption to the evacuation of people with reduced mobility in the municipalities closest to the volcano, on this island located off the coast of the volcano. north-west Africa.
“All administrations are prepared to act in a coordinated fashion”, assured the Prime Minister on his Twitter account. The Interior Ministry said more than 200 members of the security forces had been mobilized as well as a helicopter.
Attentive to the evolution of the situation on La Palma in the face of the intensification of seismic movements and in contact … https://t.co/zVQ7MIemzw
The last eruption of Cumbre Vieja took place in 1971. Of volcanic origin, the Spanish archipelago of the Canaries experienced its last eruption in 2011, this time underwater, at the island of El Hierro.
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