About 33,000 residents of various municipalities on the Spanish island of La Palma, part of the Canary Islands, have been ordered to remain in their homes.
Once again, the toxic gases emitted by the still-unnamed volcano in the Cumbre Vieja volcano chain started three months ago to erupt. The local authorities announced this.
A lockdown has been ordered in the municipalities of Los Llanos de Ariadne, El Paso and Tazacorte due to extremely unfavourable air quality resulting from the sulfur dioxide emitted by the volcano.
According to figures from the Spanish National Institute of Statistics (INE), about 33,000 people live in the three municipalities, accounting for 38 percent of the total population of La Palma.
Since the volcano began erupting nearly three months ago, the more than 1,000-degree hot lava has destroyed nearly 2,900 homes and other buildings. About 1,200 hectares were covered by a meter-thick lava layer, as many as 1,700 football fields. More than 7,000 residents had to be evacuated; the damage is estimated at more than 900 million euros. Off the coast, cooled lava created two new headlands, with a combined surface area of about 50 hectares.
It is the longest eruption in the island’s history and the third this century, after the San Juan volcano in 1949 and the Teneguia in 1971.