La Palma: Volcano erupts and lava flows on Spanish island

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The Cumbre Vieja volcano could cause an earthquake of more than 6.0 magnitude as it starts to slow. Experts have said they have seen signs the end of the eruption is in sight for the first time.

Scientists have said they are seeing “positive signs” that the eruption on the island is starting to slow.

Carmen López, spokesperson for the emergency committee Pevolca, said the decrease in sulfur dioxide emissions and increased earthquakes could signal the end of the chaos.

A third earthquake of 5.0 magnitude was detected yesterday in La Palma while other areas suffered “very unfavourable” levels of air quality.

Lopez said there was now light at the end of the tunnel of the volcanic drama that has destroyed over 1,000 homes.

She said: “There are good signs but the magnitude and frequency of these earthquakes also have to be reduced.”

If a 6.0 magnitude earthquake hits the island, it could cause landslides and structural damage to La Palma.

The island’s airport has regained operation and it is expected better weather conditions will disperse gases and particles in the atmosphere.

A spokesperson for Aena, the airport authority, said the airports were open but passengers were advised to check the status of their flight.

Yesterday’s earthquake was felt across the Canaries with shockwaves experienced as far away as Tenerife and La Gomera.

Lava flows on the island have resulted in the loss of 1,443 buildings which includes over 1,000 homes.

Many farms have lost all their crops and vineyards and avocado trees have also been completely destroyed.

Residents are being advised to wear masks outside as the air quality is “very unfavourable”.

Schools in the affected area have been suspended and tourists are advised to follow the advice of local authorities.

Despite the devastation, the island has been overwhelmed by tourists arriving to witness the eruption.

Hotels on the Canary Islands are reportedly packed with people eager to see the dramatic event.

Tourists have packed out a church in El Paso which is considered the best place to watch the eruption.

Miguel Ángel Morcuende, technical director at the Volcano Risk Prevention Plan, said: “We are grateful that so many tourists are coming.

“We have asked for support and this is that, to solve some of the problems that we have on the island.”

However a resident, Carmen Justiniana, did not agree. She said her brother had lost his land to the eruption.

She told El País: “The people who have lost their homes are trying to rent places and it is more difficult due to all the tourists that are coming.”

Additonal reporting by Rita Sobot. 

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