Thousands flee ‘devastating’ Canary Islands volcano.

More than 5,000 people have been evacuated from their homes following the volcanic eruption on the Spanish island of La Palma.

The volcano, in the Cumbre Vieja mountain range on the south of La Palma, in the Canary Islands, started erupting on Sunday. Around 5,500 local people were evacuated by Monday evening as lava engulfed dozens of houses and nearby farmland. Ash and gases also poured out of the volcano.

The head of the island’s local government, Mariano Hernández Zapata, said the situation “is quite devastating, mainly due to that trail of lava which is progressing, around six metres high, literally eating up homes, infrastructure and farmland”.

Several roads were closed and the civil guard helped evacuate people and animals from the path of the lava. There were no injuries or victims as of Monday night.

This is the first volcanic activity of its kind in Spain since 1971, when La Palma was also the scene of an eruption. In 2011, there was an underwater eruption off the island of El Hierro.

Prime minister Pedro Sánchez postponed a trip to New York in order to visit the island. “All of Spain is today with La Palma,” Mr Sánchez said, speaking after arriving on the island.

He added that he wanted “to convey a full commitment that this eruption will not mean that there are people who are left behind, who are hurt from an economic standpoint, despite the fact that there is some irreparable damage that we cannot resolve, such as the loss of homes, with all that means emotionally as well as economically”.

Despite such concerns, the sight of glowing lava pouring out of the mountain also made it an attraction for some people on the island, who admired it from a safe distance. Tourism minister Reyes Maroto suggested the eruption could draw visitors to the island, describing the scene as “a marvellous spectacle”.

Her comments drew widespread criticism. Ana Oramas, a congresswoman of the Canary Coalition, rebuked the minister by tweeting: “A bit of sensitivity. We’re not in the mood for jokes in the Canaries.”

Increased seismic activity on the island in recent days had raised concerns that an eruption was imminent. However, on Saturday, Mr Hernández Zapata said there was no evidence that the volcano was about to explode, although he did outline evacuation preparations.

This eruption is expected to last several weeks or possibly months, given the previous behaviour of volcanoes on the archipelago. The Canary Islands have had 13 documented major eruptions since 1585. Seven of those have been on La Palma, which has seen more volcanic activity than any other island.

The Irish Times

The Irish Times online. Latest news including sport, analysis, business, weather and more from the definitive brand of quality news in Ireland.

https://www.irishtimes.com/

Top Story with Tom Llamas Full Broadcast - October 15th - NBC News Now.

Top Story with Tom Llamas Full Broadcast - October 15th - NBC News Now.

Former President Bill Clinton continues to be hospitalized while receiving treatment for an infection, and FDA panel votes unanimously to recommend Johnson and Johnson's Covid-19 booster shot, a British lawmaker was stabbed to death while meeting ...

Gutfeld: This is the left's new crazed religion

Gutfeld: This is the left's new crazed religion

'Gutfeld!' panel discusses schools labeling math as 'racist.' #Gutfeld #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service delivering breaking ne...

Kayleigh McEnany: This is sad to see

Kayleigh McEnany: This is sad to see

Fox News contributors Kayleigh McEnany and Leo Terrell join ‘Hannity’ to discuss President Biden’s approval ratings as they reach new lows. Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a ...

1 668

Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller's parents speak out after son's hearing following brig confinement

Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller's parents speak out after son's hearing following brig confinement

Stuart Scheller Sr & Cathy Scheller join 'Tucker Carlson Tonight' #tucker #oxnews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service delivering breaking ...

Pete Buttigieg defends Biden's plan to solve supply chain bottleneck.

Pete Buttigieg defends Biden's plan to solve supply chain bottleneck.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg acknowledges driver shortage and a supply chain bottleneck with a positive outlook following the president's plan to keep ports open. #FoxNews #SpecialReport Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video:...

Monarch or revolutionary? What leaders do Africans yearn for? - DW News.

Monarch or revolutionary? What leaders do Africans yearn for? - DW News.

Soldiers have been deployed across schools in Eswatini where students have been protesting. They are demanding political reforms and are calling for the release of two MP's who were arrested during pro-democracy protests earlier this year. Eswatin...