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THOUSANDS FLEE AS VOLCANO ERUPTS IN SPAIN

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By Fawziyyat Yusuf.

According to local officials, some 5,000 people have been evacuated from settlements on the Spanish Canary Island of La Palma as lava flows from an erupting volcano.

Mayor Sergio Rodriguez told TVE radio station on Monday morning that the 15-meter high lava flow has already consumed 20 buildings and sections of roads in the community of El Paso.

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It has now extended to the neighboring town of Los Llanos de Aridane, threatening hundreds of homes, he said.

“We are monitoring the trajectory of the lava,” Rodriguez said.

Since erupting on Sunday afternoon, the volcano has spewed lava hundreds of meters into the air and poured molten rock into the Atlantic Ocean over a sparsely populated part of La Palma, the Canaries archipelago’s most northern island.


Approximately 5,000 people have been evacuated from four settlements, including El Paso and Los Llanos de Aridane.

However, regional president Angel Victor Torres of the Canary Islands announced on Monday morning that no more evacuations are planned.

“The lava is moving towards the coast and the damage will be material. According to experts, there are about 17-20 million cubic meters of lava,” he said.

No fatalities have been reported, and none are expected as long as no one acts carelessly, according to volcanologist Nemesio Perez.

More than 22,000 earthquakes were detected at Cumbre Vieja in less than a week, putting La Palma on high alert. Cumbre Vieja is part of a chain of volcanoes that last erupted in a large eruption in 1971 and is one of the most active volcanic regions in the Canaries.

On Sunday night, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez landed in La Palma for meetings with the island’s authorities about how to deal with the eruption.

“We have all the resources and all the troops, citizens can rest easy,” he said.

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