La Palma volcano spews lava as it continues to erupt
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Tourists have had to escape the island by ferry after the airport’s closure caused chaos. Holidaymakers were housed in disused military barracks after hotels and holiday apartments were evacuated.
The La Palma volcano began erupting over a week ago on September 19 but has intensified in recent days.
Nearly 7,000 residents and tourists have been evacuated to escape the deadly lava flow and toxic fumes.
Everyone in the area has been advised to avoid going outside and wear masks and goggles to protect themselves from the ash cloud.
The cloud has risen from the volcano but can travel for miles by wind and hit other parts of La Palma.
Gases emitted from the volcano can seriously damage people’s lungs if they are inhaled for long.
Tourists were forced to join long queues for ferries to escape the island after the airport was closed.
Emergency crews have had to withdraw from the immediate area after further explosions sent rock and ash flying.
There have no been fatalities reported from the eruption but many homes and farms have been destroyed by the lava.
It is expected that the ash cloud could travel as far as the Balearic islands although it is likely not to be dangerous for tourists by that point as it will be so high in the atmosphere.
The Foreign and Commonwealth office is advising tourists to stay away from La Palma and avoid the Canary Islands.
A statement said: “On Sunday 19 September 2021, at approximately 15.15 local time, there was a volcanic eruption on the Spanish Canary Island of La Palma.
“The immediate areas of Los Llanos de Aridane, Tazacorte and El Paso have been evacuated.
“If you are in an affected area you should follow the advice of local authorities, including social media updates from Cabildo de La Palma.
“If you are planning to travel to the island imminently you are encouraged to contact your tour operators/airlines.”
The devastating eruption could even be seen from space as new satellite images showed lava flowing through the island.
Swimming pools have been boiled and houses decimated as the lava poured over the landscape.
Scientific experts have advised that the eruption could last for another three months with explosions expected when the lava hits the sea.
Volcano tourists have travelled to the island to witness the eruption but anyone crossing emergency service lines could be in danger.
Ticket prices to visit the Canaries have soared as so-called ‘lava chasers’ rushed to get to the island.
Juan Pablo Gonzales, a hotel manager said: “Now is not the moment for tourism for La Palma, it’s the time to help.
“These people are not doing that and they are instead occupying beds that could, for example, be used by the security forces.”
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