Live: Lava spews from volcano on Spain's La Palma island as thousands flee.

A volcano erupted on the Spanish Canary Island of La Palma on Sunday (September 19), sending jets of lava and a plume of smoke and ash into the air from the Cumbre Vieja national park in the south of the island.

Authorities had begun evacuating the infirm and some farm animals from surrounding villages before the eruption at 3:15 p.m. (1415 GMT) on a wooded slope in the sparsely populated Cabeza de Vaca area, according to the islands' government.

Two hours later, with rivers of lava edging down the hillside, the municipality issued a mandatory evacuation order for four villages, including El Paso and Los Llanos de Aridane. Soldiers were deployed to help, and residents were asked to keep mobile phone use to a minimum.

Spain's Civil Guard later tweeted that it would take part in the evacuation of between 5,000 to 10,000 people from villages near the volcano, including El Paso and Los Llanos de Ariadne.

Video footage showed fountains of red molten lava shooting into the sky, and plumes of smoke could be seen from across the island.

"In no circumstances go near the lava flow," the municipality warned residents. "If there is volcanic ash, stay in your houses."

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said he had postponed his trip to the United Nations General Assembly in New York and was on his way to La Palma.

www.thesun.co.uk/news/16182888/volcano-la-palma-canary-islands-brits-explosion/

The Sun newspaper brings you the latest breaking news videos and explainers from the UK and around the world

Become a Sun Subscriber and hit the bell to be the first to know

Read The Sun: www.thesun.co.uk
Like The Sun on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thesun/
Follow The Sun on Twitter: twitter.com/TheSun
Subscribe to The Sun on Snapchat: www.snapchat.com/discover/The_Sun/1633225139

Watch video on channel "The Sun"
'Rust' shooting: Alec Baldwin's gun fired lead projectile on set - Sheriff.

'Rust' shooting: Alec Baldwin's gun fired lead projectile on set - Sheriff.

Actor Alec Baldwin fired a vintage Colt pistol loaded with a live lead round in the accidental fatal shooting last week of a cinematographer on the New Mexico set of his movie "Rust," authorities said. Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza and Dist...

Health scare forces the Queen to pull out of the COP26 summit.

Health scare forces the Queen to pull out of the COP26 summit.

THE Queen has been forced to pull out of the COP26 summit next week after being ordered to rest by doctors, it has been revealed. But sources say, despite lighter public duties, Her Majesty is "knackered" because of a packed private schedule. Eliz...

Julian Assange: Supporters protest bid to overturn ban on extradition.

Julian Assange: Supporters protest bid to overturn ban on extradition.

SUPPORTERS of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange protest outside London High Court as the US bids to overturn a ban on his extradition. Crowds chanted and marched with banners outside court. It comes as US authorities say Assange could serve any jai...

Insulate Britain: Driver hurls ink in faces of protesters.

Insulate Britain: Driver hurls ink in faces of protesters.

RAGING drivers have hurled INK at Insulate Britain eco-zealots as two mobs of protesters block roads near the Dartford Crossing and the A40. Hard-working Brits are stuck behind demonstrators who barricaded a roundabout close to the M25 Dartford Cr...

La Palma house engulfed by slow moving lava - Resident despairs as family home is destroyed.

La Palma house engulfed by slow moving lava - Resident despairs as family home is destroyed.

The Santaella brothers check in on their family home in Tajuya on the Spanish island of La Palma daily, despite the house being engulfed by slow-moving lava, it continues to defy the explosive volcanic eruption that has been underway for over six ...