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Volcanic eruption forces La Palma evacuations

Authorities in La Palma in Canary Islands have ordered the evacuation of 5,000 people in the wake of a volcanic eruption.

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez arrived in the island after the Cumbre Vieja volcano started spewing lava onto local villages.

Sanchez said authorities are closely monitoring fires that may start from the burning lava. The military and civil guard has been deployed to help.

The Canary Islands government confirmed that continuous monitoring of the seismic activity has been increased and the public will be notified of any significant changes observed.

“The public are asked to be on the alert for information issued by the civil protection authorities through official channels and the media,” it added.

The evacuation of the at-risk population came in the light of evidence that seismic activity has reached its highest level since it began on the island of La Palma earlier last week.

The precautionary evacuation has been put in place to minimise any dangers associated with seismicity and rockfalls.

“Seismic activity in La Palma continues, with localised events both at surface level and at depths up to 8km,” a statement said.

 

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