Schools closed and flights cancelled by volcanic activity on La Palma

Residents of Spanish island told to stay inside because of poor air quality

Schools are closed and flights to and from the island of La Palma in Spain have been cancelled as a volcano continues to emit lava, ash and gases after erupting six weeks ago.

Residents who live near the Cumbre Vieja, in the Canary Islands, have been told to stay indoors because of the heavy ash fall and terrible air quality.

While scientists said the eruption could last up to three months, most of La Palma and its 85,000 residents have been unaffected.

More than 7,000 people have been evacuated from their homes because of the threat from the rivers of lava.

The molten rock has covered about 1,000 hectares of land and crushed or damaged more than 2,200 buildings.

But the island’s tourism minister insists the island is safe for visitors.

“We have been impacted in terms of tourism because there have been some cancellations. It’s a natural phenomenon, and there has been the need for safety precautions, particularly in the beginning,” Yaiza Castilla said.

“What we’re talking about is 20 per cent of the island that’s affected but the conditions are extremely safe,” she said. “The area affected is closed off and the hotels, flats, villas and paths are available for people to enjoy the marvellous attractions we have on La Palma.”

Updated: November 3rd 2021, 3:43 PM