Madrid, Sept. 27, (dpa/GNA) – Lava stopped flowing from a volcano on the Canary Island of La Palma on Monday, after an eight-day eruption that caused widespread destruction and led to evacuations and curfews.
The volcano in Cumbre Vieja suddenly fell silent. Explosions and the hissing sound of material spewing out could no longer be heard on television reports. However, a cloud of ash and smoke still hovered above the summit, although it was smaller than during the past few days.
Since the eruption began more than a week ago, it has been unclear how long it might last. On Monday, a volcanologist said such interruptions were not unusual and that it was too early to say whether the eruption was finally over, in comments to RTVE state television.
The lava flow was approaching the sea on Monday, and was only 800 metres away from the island’s west coast, prompting the authorities to impose a curfew on several nearby towns, RTVE reported.
Toxic fumes can form when lava, with a temperature of 1,000 degrees Celsius, comes into contact with salt water.
The curfew applied in the towns of San Borondon, Marina Alta, Marina Baja and La Condesa, where people were told not to leave their homes and to keep their windows and doors closed.
However, further evacuations were not needed as those whose homes were thought to be in danger had already been evacuated.
The lava flow had been moving quickly towards the coast on Sunday, when it passed the town of Todoque, destroying San Pio X church in the process.
Meanwhile, the island’s airport has reopened, said operator Aena in a tweet. The runway has been cleared of volcanic ash. However, no flights were initially planned, it appeared, with live flight trackers not showing any flights planned for La Palma.
On Monday, all planned flights to and from La Palma were also showing up as cancelled on the Aena website.