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26 Sept 2021
La Palma Airports Shutdown as Volcano Eruption Intensifies
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Authorities have shutdown airports in La Palma after a volcano erupted, spewing ash and red hot lava all across the Spanish island.
The volcano began erupting on Sunday and is now considered to be nearing its explosive stage. According to the Canary Islands Volcanology Institute, the volcano has a new emission vent that had opened. Drones sent over the volcano’s cone show that it had broken under its own weight.
Miguel Angel, director of volcano response committee Pevolca told reporters, “It is not unusual in this type of eruption that the cone of the volcano fractures. A crater is formed that does not support its own weight and the cone breaks. This partial rupture happened overnight.”
Evacuations are undergoing on the island, leading to massive queues for boats leaving the island. The evacuations are expected to last another day as a precaution.
The island of La Palma currently has a population of 83,000 residents and is one of a part of the region’s Canary Islands. After the eruption of the volcano, approximately 6,000 residents had to be evacuated to prevent injuries caused by spewing of lava and ash. No fatalities have been reported so far but as much as half of the residents have lost their homes.
La Palma’s main airport had to be shut down due to accumulation of ash in the air causing poor visibility. The airport is undergoing cleaning operations where workers have been instructed to sweep ash off the main runway to prepare for reopening.
The government has announced it will be provide aid for rebuilding purposes and will begin the task of fixing roads, irrigation networks, and other infrastructure damaged due to the eruption.