Lava runs from the volcano Cumbre Vieja on the Canary Island of La Palma​. Photo: Arturo Jimenez/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
Lava runs from the volcano Cumbre Vieja on the Canary Island of La Palma. Photo: Arturo Jimenez/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Mass Evacuation As Volcano Erupts for the First Time in 50 Years on Spanish Island

Around 5,000 people have been evacuated following the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano in the Canary Islands.
Dipo Faloyin
London, GB

Thousands of people have been evacuated from La Palma in Spain’s Canary Islands after a volcano erupted on the island on Sunday for the first time in 50 years.

The aftermath from the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano.

The aftermath from the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano. Photo: Europa Press via AP

For over a week, experts had been monitoring activity at the Cumbre Vieja volcano after tens of thousands of small earthquakes were detected below the surface. Just hours before the eruption, a 4.2 magnitude earthquake was recorded as the site was placed on high alert.

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The aftermath from the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano.

The aftermath from the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano. Photo: Europa Press via AP

The volcano finally erupted on Sunday afternoon and continued to spill lava for over ten hours. The lava has destroyed around a dozen nearby homes, while 5,000 of La Palma’s 85,000 population have been rehoused at shelters and with relatives, authorities have confirmed. 

Lava flows from an eruption of a volcano near El Paso on the island of La Palma.

Lava flows from an eruption of a volcano near El Paso on the island of La Palma. Photo: AP Photo/Jonathan Rodriguez

The president of the Canary Islands, Angel Victor Torres, said on Sunday night that no new evacuations were expected as experts believed the island had already experienced the worst of the explosion.

“According to the technical committee, everything seems to indicate that there will be no new eruption points,” Torres said at a press conference. 

Firefighters watch the volcano Cumbre Vieja on the Canary Island of La Palma.

Firefighters watch the volcano Cumbre Vieja on the Canary Island of La Palma. Photo: Arturo Jimenez/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images.

Still, while authorities are confident that they are capable of stopping the spewing lava from destroying any more homes, it is unclear as to when this eruption will end.

Lava comes out of the volcano Cumbre Vieja on the Canary island of La Palma.

Lava comes out of the volcano Cumbre Vieja on the Canary island of La Palma. Photo by: Arturo Jimenez/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images