Disasters & Accidents

La Palma residents in lockdown as toxic gas sweeps west of island

Santa Cruz De Tenerife, Spain, Dec 13 (EFE).- Authorities on the Spanish island of La Palma confined residents living in towns adjacent to the Cumbre Vieja volcano on Monday due to poor air quality.

The General Directorate of Security and Emergencies of the Government of the Canary Islands said high levels of sulfur dioxide being expelled by the ongoing volcanic eruption meant residents of Los Llanos de Aridane, El Paso and Tazacorte should remain indoors until further notice.

By 8 AM on Monday, over 750 micrograms of sulfur dioxide per cubic meter were recorded at the El Paso station, the local government said in a statement.

According to the report, 1,522 micrograms of sulfur dioxide per cubic meter were registered, prompting authorities to declare a level 2 emergency (red light) triggering a lockdown in the affected municipalities.

Residents have been ordered to stay inside and to close all doors, windows, blinds and any vents that may allow external air to enter properties.

People were advised to remain in their homes’ most secluded rooms and to avoid vehicles, which are not considered safe environments to shelter from the toxic gas.

The National Geographic Institute recorded four earthquakes on La Palma on Monday, the largest of which was of a 3.2 magnitude in Fuencaliente at a depth of 11 kilometers.EFE


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