In the Canary Islands, a volcano erupted south of La Palma island, which is home to around 80,000 people and 50,000 evacuated.
The Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez arrived on La Palma in the Canary Islands to survey the situation. Mr. Sanchez said authorities are closely monitoring fires that may start from the burning lava. The military and civil guard have been deployed to help.
Mr. Sanchez in fact, delayed his departure for the UN General Assembly in New York to meet Mr Torres to discuss the emergency services’ response to the eruption. He said on Sunday, “Everything is going according to plan, and therefore the priority is to guarantee the safety of the citizens of La Palma who could be affected as a consequence of this eruption.”
Aerial footage showed lava from the Cumbre Vieja volcano spilling downhill and destroying several houses. A video showing the glowing lava flowing down the mountain destroying homes.
The eruption started around 15:00 local time (14:00 GMT) and sent lava flowing down the hillside toward villages.
Jonas Perez, a local tour guide, said he could still feel tremors from the eruption.
“But now the most amazing thing which I’ve never experienced is that the noise coming from the volcano, it sounds like… twenty fighter jets taking off and it’s extremely loud, it’s amazing,” he added.
There were mandatory evacuation orders for four villages, including El Paso and Los Llanos de Aridane, and temporary shelters were set up. No casualties have so far been reported.
“It is not foreseeable that anyone else will have to be evacuated,” Canary Islands President Angel Victor Torres said on Sunday night, adding the lava was slowly moving towards the coast.
Residents watched in horror as lava following the eruption of a volcano in the Cumbre Vieja national park at El Paso, on the Canary Island of La Palma. A 2km (1.2 miles) wide exclusion zone has been set up around the lava flow as it rushes down the hillside
La Palma had been on high alert after more than 22,000 tremors were recorded in one week around the volcano.
The Canaries, an archipelago of seven islands off northwestern Africa, last recorded a volcanic eruption in 2011, undersea off El Hierro Island.
Cumbre Vieja last erupted in 1971 and in 1949. Of note, the volcano last erupted 50 years ago.