LA Palma is an island off Spain in the North Atlantic Ocean that is a tourist hotspot for Brits and has an active volcano.
It boasts of amazing sunkissed beaches, trekking routs and one of Europe’s active volcanoes.
Where is La Palma?
The island forms part of the Canary Islands of Spain, which are located off the northwestern coast of Africa.
It falls under the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and has a large volcanic caldera about 6 miles in diameter that was established as a national park.
The island is a tourist hotspot for Brit holidaymakers who flock to its beaches every summer.
The average time for a direct flight from London to La Palma is just under four-and-a-half hours and they regularly leave from the capital every day.
La Palma’s economy revolves around irrigation-based farming and bananas, tomatoes, and tobacco along with embroidery are its biggest exports.
What happened when the volcano erupted?
La Palma’s Cumbre Vieja volcano erupted on September 19, 2021, and is currently still exploding.
The latest explosion occurred as a result of an earthquake under the volcano’s base on September 11, 2021, that slowly migrated to the surface.
More than 20,000 earthquakes were registered in one week, Reuters reports, sending lava shooting into the air and streaming in rivers towards houses in two villages in the south of the island.
Authorities began evacuating the vulnerable and some farm animals around 3:15pm local time.
Two hours later, lava spilled down the hillside from five fissures, leading to the evacuation of the towns El paso and Los Llanos de Aridane.
Nighttime video footage shows lava shooting hundreds of metres into the sky and at least three lava-deluged rivers of molten rock pouring down the hill.
Around 5,000 were evacuated and no injuries were reported so far, Canary Islands President Angel Victor Torres told a press conference on Sunday.
When has the volcano previously erupted?
Cumbre Vieja has exploded twice previously: once in 1949 and again in 1971.
The first eruption took place on June 24, 1949 and lasted for more than a week.
The onset of the eruption was witnessed by a shepard tending his flock on a flank of the volcanic mountainside and was, too, caused by earthquakes.
The 1971 eruption occurred at the southern end of Cumbre Vieja.