La Palma volcano, live updates: the latest news with the eruption about to end? | the Canary Islands


Careful cleaning in La Palma

Authorities on the Spanish island of La Palma on Thursday allowed evacuees to clean up their ash-covered homes, with scientists suggesting solidification of lava vents beneath the Cumbre Vieja volcano could herald the end of the three-month eruption. .

Deep banks of black ash had piled up to head height in front of Daniel Geronimo’s whitewashed house in the village of Las Manchas, below the eruption area. “It’s sad. It’s sad to see houses buried like this,” said the 26-year-old nurse, as her aunt swept the ashes from the roof.

Soldiers from the Spanish Military Emergency Unit helped them shovel debris from an outer corridor where they had formed thick snow drifts during the six weeks they had been prevented from surrendering. “It’s really difficult because cleaning up all of this, assuming the volcano has really stopped, will take time,” he said.

The underground conduits that channel magma to the surface at Cumbre Vieja are solidifying and no seismic activity has been recorded since Monday evening, fueling optimism the longest eruption in La Palma’s history could be declared at time for Christmas. But Geronimo, who will have to leave the house again after Thursday’s cleaning, does not harbor any hope. “It just might come back,” he said. Even though the eruption has ended, the emergency is far from over as existing lava deposits can still emit dangerous sulfur dioxide fumes.

Miguel Angel Morcuende, head of a task force set up to monitor the volcano, warned returning owners, most of whom will not yet be allowed to stay overnight, to be careful, especially those living nearby lava flows. Thousands of people have been evacuated, at least 2,910 buildings have been destroyed and the island’s economically vital banana plantations have been devastated.

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