Spain’s La Palma volcano eruption declared over after three monthson December 25, 2021 at 5:28 pm

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The Cumbre Vieja volcano in Spain’s Canary Islands had been spewing lava and ash since September.

Man watches volcano

Image source, Reuters

A volcano eruption on the Spanish island of La Palma has officially been declared over, after three months of spewing ash and hot molten rock.

Since erupting on 19 September, the Cumbre Vieja volcano destroyed more than 3,000 properties and hundreds of acres of farmland on the Canary Island.

More than 7,000 people were forced to leave their homes as lava closed in.

But after 10 days of calmer activity, authorities decided the volcano was not going to flare up again.

“What I want to say today can be said with just four words: The eruption is over,” said Canary Islands regional security chief Julio Perez.

There had been no earth tremors since 13 December – the longest period without any activity since the volcano began.

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But Mr Perez said experts wanted to be sure the eruption had stopped before declaring it was over on Christmas Day.

No injuries or deaths have been linked to the eruption on the island, where about 80,000 people live.

But more than 1,300 homes have been destroyed, as well as churches, schools and swathes of banana plantations.

Volcano ash blanket and house

Image source, Getty Images

Molten rock leaked into the ocean which increased the size of the island, boiled sea water and released the toxic gas sulphur dioxide.

The gas forced many on the island to stay locked down in their homes.

The eruption also disrupted the late stages of the summer tourist season as many flights were cancelled and resorts were closed.

It was the first eruption on La Palma since 1971 and the longest-ever recorded on the island.

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez described the news as “the best Christmas present”.

He tweeted: “We will continue working together, all the institutions, to relaunch the wonderful island of La Palma and repair the damage caused.”

The Spanish government has promised €225m euros ($255m; £192m) to help people living on the island.

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