Is it possible traveling to Canary Islands with the La Palma volcano eruption?

Cumbre Vieja volcano (Image: Europa Press via Getty Images)
The Cumbre Vieja volcano spewed lava and ash (Image: Europa Press via Getty Images)

On Wednesday, the island council of La Palma asked the residents of Tazacorte, a municipality of 4,601 residents located near the site where the lava is falling into the ocean, to remain in their homes. Meanwhile, at the volcano, the plume of ash and smoke is now rising 3,500 meters into the air. Fine ash even reached the nearby island of El Hierro on Wednesday evening, according to María José Blanco, the director of the National Geographic Institute (IGN). By Wednesday, the lava had reached 981 buildings on La Palma, 855 of which have been completely destroyed, and it had affected an area of 476 hectares.

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  • Hundreds of homes have been destroyed since the Cumbre Vieja volcano in the Canary Islands erupted on 19 September. About 6,000 people have been evacuated, as the lava was engulfing houses, schools, and some banana plantations. On Wednesday the EU's Copernicus service estimated that the lava had covered 267 hectares (2.7 sq km) and destroyed 656 homes on its way to the ocean.

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    So, and after what said above, a question which is:

    Is it safe to travel to Canaries Islands after the La Palma volcano eruption?

    Travel to and from La Palma island has been severely disrupted since Cumbre Vieja volcano began spewing out lava on 19 September, with flights and holidays cancelled. And with UK travel restrictions about to ease, tourists eyeing a trip to neighbouring hotspots like Tenerife will be concerned that the eruption could cause disruption akin to the Iceland volcano in 2012.

    Despite fears of toxic gases, authorities said the air inland remained fine to breathe.

    Lava from the volcano reached the ocean just before midnight on Tuesday (September 28) near the town of Tazacorte and began accumulating at the foot of a cliff until a cone of debris appeared above the waterline.

    The local authorities called on residents on Wednesday morning to keep their windows shut because a mix of toxic gases and small particles may be released when molten lava comes into contact with cold water. Scientists have also been warning that the chemical reactions between lava and water could cause powerful underwater explosions.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office does not currently advise against travelling to Tenerife or any of the other Canary Islands: Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Gomera and El Hierro.

    Its guidance relating to the eruption reads: “On Sunday 19 September 2021, at approximately 15.15 local time, there was a volcanic eruption on the Spanish Canary Island of La Palma.

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    “The immediate areas of Los Llanos de Aridane, Tazacorte and El Paso have been evacuated.

    “If you are in an affected area you should follow the advice of local authorities, including social media updates from Cabildo de La Palma [the island’s council].

    “If you are planning to travel to the island imminently you are encouraged to contact your tour operators/airlines.”

    However, It is not thought that the ash cloud will disrupt travel to the other Canary Islands (Photo: Reuters)

    Flights and holidays to La Palma have been cancelled, but favourable weather conditions meant that the first flight in five days was able to touch down at the island’s airport on Wednesday.

    Tui, the UK’s largest tour operator, cancelled all holidays to La Palma until 1 October after repatriating holidaymakers on the island following the eruption.

    Travel to the other Canary Islands remains unaffected, despite a huge ash cloud that Spain’s National Geographic Institute said reached nearly four miles above La Palma.

    As there is not thought to be a risk of flights to the rest of the Canary Islands being disrupted by ash clouds.


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