Airport reopens on Spanish island rocked by volcanic eruption

The volcano on La Palma, which is part of the volcanic Canary Islands off north-west Africa and is home to 85,000 people, erupted on September 19.

Lava flows from a volcano on the Canary island of La Palma, Spain, in the early hours of Sunday
Lava flows from a volcano on the Canary island of La Palma, Spain, in the early hours of Sunday

The airport on the Spanish island of La Palma has reopened and authorities have allowed some evacuated residents to collect belongings from their homes as an erupting volcano continued to roar but lava flows remained slow.

The island’s government said there had been “no significant incidents” with the volcano since Saturday, when part of the crater collapsed and another river of lava emerged.

Spanish airport authority Aena tweeted that La Palma airport was operational again after closing on Saturday because of a heavy fall of volcanic ash.

The closure led to long lines at the island’s port to catch ferries off the island.

Lava flows in an eruption on the island of La Palma in the Canaries, Spain
Lava flowed after the eruption on the island of La Palma (Emilio Morenatti/AP)

The volcano on La Palma, which is part of the volcanic Canary Islands off north-west Africa and is home to about 85,000 people, erupted on September 19.

The prompt evacuations of more than 6,000 people helped avoid casualties.

Scientists say the eruption could last for up to three months.

Three rivers of lava slithering down a hillside on the western side of the island have destroyed 461 buildings, including homes, and covered 212 hectares (more than 520 acres) of countryside, according to a European Union monitoring system.

This month’s eruption is the first on La Palma since 1971.

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