La Palma volcano eruption forces some residents to stay at home
THE PALMA, Spain – Authorities have asked several thousand residents of La Palma to stay in their homes due to deteriorating air quality, with the erupting volcano on the Spanish island spewing red lava and thick clouds of black smoke.
Emergency services issued a lockdown order on Friday evening for residents of Los Llanos de Aridane and El Paso, two of the worst-affected towns.
“The new lockdown is the consequence of weather conditions (…) which prevent the dispersion of gases and keep them at low levels in the atmosphere,” emergency services said in a statement. They said the lockdown would affect around 3,500 people.
Those affected were ordered to keep their doors and windows closed and to turn off the heating and air conditioning to prevent outside air from entering.
Closures had already been ordered in the regions of San Borondon, Marina Alta, Marina Baja and La Condesa.
About 6,000 people have been evacuated from their homes since the Cumbre Vieja volcano erupted on September 19.
More than 800 buildings were destroyed on the island, which has around 83,000 inhabitants and is part of an archipelago of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic.
On Friday, lava flowed from a new vent https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/lava-blasts-out-new-vent-la-palma-volcano-2021-10-01 in the volcano , which the Canaries Volcanology Institute describes as a new “eruption hotbed”.
The volcano was experiencing “intense activity,” Miguel Angel Morcuende, director of the Pevolca intervention committee, told a press conference on Friday. But he also placed the eruption in the context of the island at large.
“Less than 8% of the island is affected by the volcano. The rest lead normal lives, ”he said.