Lava from the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Canary island of La Palma has reached the Atlantic Ocean, leading authorities to worry about toxic gases that might arise.
The first passenger plane will likely land on the island on Wednesday since the airport closed on Saturday.
The Canary Islands Volcanic Institute Involcan warns that the gases and fluids that form when lava reaches the sea can irritate the airways, eyes and skin, and cause breathing problems, especially in people who already have breathing difficulties. But Wednesday’s high winds carried the gases out to sea.
– Ruben Fernandez of the rescue service says in an interview with Spanish radio, that the danger to the population is much less than we expected.
declared a disaster area
Lava on the western side of the volcano has flowed toward the sea since September 19, destroying nearly 600 homes. Three coastal villages were cordoned off Monday while waiting for lava to reach the Atlantic Ocean.
On Tuesday, Spain declared La Palma a disaster area, in order to provide financial support to the island. 10.5 million euros, equivalent to 107 million Swedish kronor, have already been released, mainly to provide housing for those whose homes were buried in the lava.
No one is said to have lost their lives in the outbreak, but about 6,000 people have been evacuated.
The first passenger plane landed on the island, on Wednesday, since the airport was forced to close on Saturday due to the accumulation of ash from the volcanic eruption, according to the airport operator Aina.
The airport was closed for 24 hours, but despite reopening, all flights were canceled until Wednesday afternoon when the local airline landed on the island. The company says it is resuming resumed flights to help island residents.
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