Firefighters retreat as La Palma explosions intensify

·1 min read

Volcanic explosions on the Spanish island of La Palma intensified on Friday after a new vent opened, forcing firefighters to retreat and three more towns to evacuate, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Mount Cumbre Vieja erupted earlier this week, destroying hundreds of homes and forcing thousands to evacuate, Reuters reports. Firefighters had been scheduled for clean-up work on Friday before the latest explosion.

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  • "The volcano is in a newly explosive phase ... Firefighters will not operate anymore today," the Tenerife fire service, which had been in La Palma to help locals, tweeted Friday morning.

  • The towns evacauted were Tajuya, Tacande de Abajo and the part of Tacande de Arriba that had not been evacuated yet per Reuters.

  • Multiple airlines canceled their flights to La Palma on Friday including Binter, Iberia and Canaryfly, per Reuters.

Flashback: The volcano erupted on the southern part of the island which came after many weeks of seismic activity including a 3.8 magnitude earthquake before the explosion.

Smoke cloud from Cumbre Vieja volcano. Photo: Desiree Martin /AFP via Getty Images

Cloud of smoke approaching from Cumbre Vieja approaching a town in La Palma. Photo: Desiree Martin/AFP via Getty Images

What they're saying: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez declared the island an emergency zone on Friday.

  • Sánchez also said that the government was working on a plan to rebuild the island as well as aid neighboring islands.

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