The great volcanic eruption in La Palma, in the Canaries

Around 3.10pm on Sunday there was a large eruption in the Cumbre Vieja volcanic chain, on the island of La Palma, in the Spanish Canary archipelago, a few hundred kilometers west of Morocco. Local authorities said that due to the eruption between 5 and 10 thousand people were evacuated in the various locations near the volcano: for now there is no news of injuries and damage to a few dozen homes has been ascertained.

The eruption on Sunday started from the Montaña Rajada, which is located in the central part of the island, in an uninhabited wooded area; it was preceded by a slight earthquake felt in particular in El Paso, a few kilometers away, and was released with a large explosion. The technical committee that is studying the event then explained that the lava is leaking from two crevices 200 meters away from each other.

Over the afternoon, the Guardia civil – the Spanish police – evacuated hundreds of homes in the towns of Tazacorte, Fuencaliente, El Paso, Mazo and Los Llanos de Aridane, where a total of about 35 thousand people live, recommending that residents close windows. external doors and gas and electricity systems before leaving their homes.

The eruption, which had been anticipated by a series of thousands of mild tremors since last September 11, caused some small fires in the wooded area around the volcano. The Spanish agency that deals with air navigation, Enaire, has recommended banning flights on the island, but for the moment no ban has been formalized. The emergency military unit also intervened to manage the situation, as requested by the local government of the Canary Islands to the Ministry of Defense.

During a press conference around 10.30pm on Sunday (11.30 pm in Italy) the president of the Canarian government, Ángel Víctor Torres, said the volcano is releasing 17 to 20 million cubic meters of lava, which is flowing towards the coast, where it is expected to cause only material damage. .

Since the 15th century, when Spain’s conquest of the Canaries began, there have been seven eruptions on the island of La Palma, all in the Cumbre Vieja park area. The most recent were those of the San Juan volcano, in 1949, and that of Teneguía, in 1971, which lasted respectively 47 and 24 days.

– Read also: The Kraffts, reckless volcanologists

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