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“The airport is at a standstill due to the accumulation of ash,” said the company managing Spanish airports (Aena). “The clean-up operations have started, but the situation can change at any time,” she added.

The first flights to La Palma were canceled on Friday. No death or injury is to be deplored since the start of the volcano eruption on Sunday.

The airport being closed, long queues formed at the port of Santa Cruz de La Palma to try to leave by ferry to the neighboring islands, mainly Tenerife, the best connected.

Call for calm

The closure of the airport coincided with the opening of new lava foci, the crumbling of part of the cone and an overall intensification of the volcano’s activity. But the authorities have called for calm, assuring that it is normal for this region.

“We are dealing with a typical volcano of the Canary Islands”, declared this Saturday Miguel Angel Morcuende, the director of the Pevolcan (Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan).

“Although yesterday we saw a significant increase in the intensity of the eruption, the volcano follows the classic patterns,” he explained.

“We are not facing a more explosive phenomenon than usual in the Canary Islands and I say this above all for the peace of mind of the people of La Palma,” he continued.

The two previous eruptions on the island took place in 1971 and 1949, killing a total of three people, two of them by gas inhalation.

420 buildings destroyed

Fear of part of the cone collapsing led to the evacuation of another part of the island, a measure that affected 160 people, bringing to more than 6,200 the number of people who had to leave their homes. residence.

According to the European Copernicus geospatial measurement system, the lava flow covers an area of ​​190 hectares and destroyed 420 buildings.

Faced with the abundance of ashes, the health authorities of the Canary Islands have recommended that the population not go out. “After a rain of ash, it is recommended to stay indoors, doors and windows closed”, underlined the Ministry of Health of the Canaries, a particularly important recommendation for “minors, pregnant women, the elderly and people suffering from lung or heart disease ”.

“People who must stay in an area exposed to ash must wear an FPP2 mask, protective goggles and cover their skin with a long-sleeved shirt, pants and a cap,” the ministry said.

letelegramme Fr Trans