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La Palma airport reopens after red-hot volcano ash cleared from “equivalent of 50 football fields” 

La Palma airport has reopened after a massive cleaning operation which saw ground crews sucking up volcanic ash over an area equivalent to 50 football fields.

The Spanish airport authority AENA announced this morning that the Canary airport was operating again as normal in the midst of the volcanic eruption on the island.

The airport closed yesterday as the wind blew in red-hot ash from the material gushing out of the volcano in the Cumbre Vieja area which erupted seven days ago.

All the other airports in the Canaries, including Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria, are fully operational and have not been affected though AENA is still advising tourists to check their flight status.

AENA tweeted: “Spanish Airports and Air Navigation has reported that after progress in cleaning the ash at La Palma airport, it can now be operated again, following prior approval of the flight plan by Enaire.”

“After the recovery of La Palma Airport, all the airports in the Canary Islands are operational, although it is advisable to check with the respective airlines the status of flights.”

More than 200 workers took part in the massive clean-up operation, with the ash having affected 250,000 square metres, equivalent to 50 football fields. The ash fell on the runway and buildings.

AENA says the ongoing situation is still dependent on the ash cloud from the volcano which is still pumping out gases, lava and red hot ash.

It is now estimated that some 500 properties have been destroyed by the lava flow, most of them houses.