Lockdown ends for 3,000 La Palma residents as volcano cloud passes
LA PALMA, Spain, October 12 (Reuters) – More than three thousand residents of La Palma were told on Tuesday that they could leave their homes after authorities ended a lockdown caused by a thick cloud of smoke emanating from a volcano that devastated the Spanish Canary Island.
A jet of incandescent lava erupting from the Cumbre Vieja volcano engulfed a cement plant on Monday, raising clouds of smoke and prompting authorities to order residents of the region to stay at home. Read more
Emergency services have asked residents of the towns of El Paso and Los Llanos de Aridane to stay indoors, close their windows and turn off air conditioners to avoid inhaling toxic fumes from the cement plant in fire as it was gradually swallowed by lava.
Authorities said on Tuesday the cloud of smoke had passed and air quality had improved so 3,500 residents could leave their homes.
There were 18 seismic movements on Tuesday, the strongest measuring 3.8, according to the Spanish National Geological Institute.
Lava from the eruption that began on September 19 devastated a total area of âânearly 600 hectares, said Miguel Angel Morcuende, technical director of the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan.
After the partial collapse of the volcano’s cone on Saturday, a new river of lava flowed out to sea, devouring the banana and avocado plantations and most of the remaining houses in the town of Todoque.
Torrents of molten rock destroyed 1,186 buildings in the three weeks following the eruption, the Canary Islands Volcanic Institute said.
About 6,000 people were evacuated from their homes in La Palma, which has a population of around 83,000.
Reporting by Graham Keeley, Silvio Castellanos, Bart Biesemans; Editing by Giles Elgood
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