Madrid, September 20 (BNA) A volcano erupted on the Spanish island of La Palma on Sunday, with several violent eruptions taking place in the municipality of El Paso, south of the island, forcing at least 5,000 people to flee the area, according to a local. modes.
The volcano threw rock fragments and red-hot lava into the air, while sending large amounts of brown and white smoke after an initial eruption at 3:12 p.m. (1412 GMT), according to El Pais newspaper.
El Pais online newspaper reported that the Civil Guard evacuated at least 5,000 people affected by the eruption. Canaris 7 TV reported earlier that 500 tourists have been evacuated from the surrounding areas so far.
The fire brigade was battling bushfires caused by the eruption, while a large ash cloud could be seen over the island, home to the Cumbre Vieja volcanic mountain range.
Broadcasters showed footage of lava slowly flowing from the volcano toward the coast, crossing a road and surrounding at least one house.
The authorities on the small island of about 83,000 people called on people to remain calm because the explosion was not particularly explosive so far.
But the authorities called the volcanic emergency plan a red alert and began evacuations. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez canceled a scheduled trip to the United States and arrived in La Palma in the evening.
Due to the approach of the lava, which descended downhill towards the coast in the form of glow-in-the-dark orange rivers, about 5,000 residents of the villages of El Paso, Lanos de Aridan and the coastal resort of Tazacorte on the island’s west coast were brought to safety.
An eruption was expected after thousands of seismic tremors in the past few days. In addition, the Earth was pushed up a bit in some places, indicating that magma was accumulating under Cumbre Vega.
State television station RTVE reported that the volcano had at least seven vents, places from which ash, smoke and lava were emitted. Previous reports spoke of three to six openings.
Earlier this week, authorities asked people in the south to pack luggage with their cell phones, important documents and any medicine they might need if they had to evacuate.
La Palma’s last eruption occurred in October 1971, when the Tiguya volcano spewed lava for more than three weeks after a crack appeared in the south of the island.
La Palma, unlike the more famous islands of Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and Tenerife, is not a popular tourist destination.