On September 19, an eruption started at the volcano Cumbre Vieja on La Palma – and the eruption has now lasted for more than two months.
At least 2651 buildings have been destroyed since the volcanic eruption began, and those who still have a house to live in on the island are now warned to stay indoors.
The reason is that one of the volcano’s seven lava flows has taken its way across the island and ended up in the ocean. This in turn has led to thick clouds with potentially toxic gas being lifted into the sky, writes Sky News.
Must protect themselves
Miguel Ángel Morcuende, technical director of the Canary Islands’ volcanic preparedness department, now states that residents in the capital Santa Cruz for the first time since the eruption has now been advised to wear face masks, as there are high concentrations of particles and sulfur dioxide in the air.
Experts at the Canary Islands Volcanology Institute (INVOLCAN) have previously said that the volcanic eruption could last until the end of the year. The forecast is based on calculations from the duration of previous eruptions in the Canary Islands.
Recently released photos show the enormous destruction on the island, including the houses that are almost buried in ashes.
At the end of September, the island was declared a disaster area.
The government has approved a crisis package of 213.7 million euros – over 2.1 billion Norwegian kroner – to help La Palma with social and economic reconstruction after the volcanic eruption.
In addition, the authorities have given 10.5 million euros, equivalent to approximately 106 million Norwegian kroner, in emergency aid to the affected inhabitants.
50 years since last
More than 500 years ago – in 1480 – the first records of volcanic eruptions in the Canary Islands began.
Since then, seven eruptions have been recorded on the island.
The previous volcanic eruption in Cumbre Vieja was 50 years ago. It started in October 1971 and lasted for 22 days before all activity had gone out.