More than 5,000 people are being evacuated from their homes on the Canary island of La Palma due to a volcanic eruption which had been threatened for days.
Brits planning to travel to the holiday destination have also been put on alert.
The British government said this evening: “On Sunday 19 September 2021, at approximately 15.15 local time, there was a volcanic eruption on the Spanish Canary Island of La Palma. The immediate area of Cabeza de Vaca, El Paso has been evacuated.””
“If you are in an affected area you should follow the advice of local authorities, including social media updates from Cabildo de La Palma. If you are planning to travel to the island imminently you are encouraged to contact your tour operators / airlines.”
An evacuation plan designed by the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (Pevolca) is underway as a result of the volcanic eruption in ‘Cumbre Vieja’, in the area of Cabeza de Vaca. The volcanic eruption alert has gone from yellow traffic light to red.
According to the Civil Guard, the evacuation affects more than 5,000 people from different districts in the municipalities of El Paso, Tazacorte and Los Llanos de Aridane, and started with about 300 people who lived in Alcalá and El Paraíso, the closest areas to the eruption area – early in the day it had started with people with reduced mobility.
The Civil Guard has 11 Citizen Security patrols, the Citizen Security Unit, 3 traffic patrols, a maritime service patrol and a helicopter deployed in the area.
The emergency services recommend that the population remain calm, close doors and windows of their houses, plus the supplies of water, electricity and gas, carry documentation, mobile phone and battery-operated radio and in case of having animals, follow the evacuation plan guidelines.