The accumulation of ash released by the Cumbre Vieja volcano, erupting for a week, has caused the suspension of flights at the airport on the Spanish island of La Palma, in the Canary Islands, the company managing Spanish airports announced on Saturday ( Aena).
“The airport is at a standstill due to the accumulation of ash,” Aena said, adding that cleaning operations “have started but the situation can change at any time”.
Seven flights had to be canceled on Friday for the same reason.
Violent explosions and a large cloud of ash emanating from the Cumbre Vieja volcano had led the authorities to order the evacuation of several neighborhoods in the city of El Paso on Friday.
“Given the increased risk for the population due to the current eruptive episode”, the archipelago authorities indicated that they “issued a compulsory evacuation order for (the neighborhoods of) Tajuya, Tacande de Abajo and the non-evacuated part of Tacande de Arriba ”.
This order concerns 160 people, bringing to more than 6,200 the number of people who have had to leave their homes, according to the authorities.
Two new eruptive vents, from which lava flows were emerging, also opened at the volcano, said the Canary Islands Volcanological Institute.
According to the latest data from Copernicus, the European system of geospatial measurements, lava has so far destroyed 420 buildings and covered 190 hectares on the island whose main economic activity is the cultivation of bananas.