Disasters & Accidents

Flights canceled on La Palma due to thick plume of ash

Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, Oct 7 (EFE).- Two airlines suspended flights between La Palma and other islands in the Canaries on Thursday due to a thick cloud of ash released by the Cumbre Vieja volcanic eruption that is being pushed northeast by changing winds.

Binter and Canaryfly were forced to halt operations as conditions worsened with a 3-kilometer high plume of ash and sulfur hovering over the runway. Planes are expected to remain on the ground for at least one day or until conditions allow for safe travel.

Volcanic activity has remained stable in recent hours, with a “steady behavior” as the red-hot river of lava continues to flow in a single stream fluidly, the Department of Homeland Security said.

“Although the number of earthquakes and their magnitude have decreased in recent hours, there are still movements being felt by the population and that could cause small landslides where the lava flows on steep hillsides,” the DHS’ daily report added.

The delta of molten rock which has emerged as the river of lava meets the Atlantic ocean continues to grow in a north-south direction and already straddles an area of some 38 hectares.

The report said a lava tube, a tunnel through which lava is flowing as the surface of the stream hardens, is channeling the magma directly into the sea “which is containing the width of the stream and will avoid any more buildings being damaged.”

So far, almost 422 hectares have been affected by the lava flows from the volcanic eruption.

Since the Cumbre Vieja started erupting on 19 September, over 4.1 million euros have been raised through donations, the government of La Palma reported.

The Spanish Football Federation has announced it will auction signed shirts from the Spanish national football team to raise funds for those affected. EFE


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