the Cumbre Vieja volcano, on the island of La Palma, has erupted

The volcano had been under close surveillance for days due to high seismic activity. The Spanish Prime Minister announced to go there.

The Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma, in the Canary archipelago, under close surveillance for days due to intense seismic activity, erupted on Sunday, local authorities said. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has announced that he will be there.

«The eruption started in the Cabeza de Vaca area, in El Paso», Indicated on its Twitter account the local government of the island (cabildo), which began to carry out evacuations in the inhabited areas closest to the volcano.

«The population is asked to exercise extreme caution and stay away from the area of ​​eruption to avoid any unnecessary risk.», He continued. “The volcano erupted in a forest area“, Said for his part the president of the Canary Islands region, Angel Victor Torres, calling for caution.

Columns of smoke and ash

Large columns of smoke, ash and jets of lava were escaping from the volcano, according to the first images broadcast live by Spanish public television around 4:30 p.m.

The Cumbre Vieja volcano had been under close surveillance for a week due to a huge surge in seismic activity. Several thousand low-magnitude earthquakes, up to nearly 4 on the Richter scale, have been recorded since last Saturday by the Canary Islands Volcanological Institute.

Millions of cubic meters of magma had also moved inside the volcano while the ground had risen by about 10 centimeters das the area of ​​the volcano.

The authorities, who had told the population to be ready for several days, proceeded a few hours before the eruption to the evacuation of people with reduced mobility in the municipalities closest to the volcano, on this island located off the coast of the volcano. north-west Africa.

The column of smoke in the distance. BORJA SUAREZ / REUTERS

Last eruption in 1971

«All administrations are prepared to act in a coordinated fashion», Assured Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on his Twitter account. The Interior Ministry said more than 200 members of the security forces had been mobilized with a helicopter.

The last eruption of Cumbre Vieja took place in 1971. Of volcanic origin, the Spanish Canary Islands had its last eruption in 2011, this time underwater, at the island of El Hierro.

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