Cumbre Viejo Volcano in Spain Continues to Erupt; Government Issues Lockdown for its Residents

Cumbre Viejo Volcano continues to erupt on Spain's La Palma Island.
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Many of the local residents are getting impatient and are hoping things will get back to normal soon.

More than 30,000 people have been ordered to go into lockdown on the island of La Palma, Spain, due to the Cumbre Viejo Volcano, which has been erupting for months and spewing high levels of sulfur dioxide and toxic gases into the air, according to published news reports.

"Close the doors, windows, shutters and prevent any air coming in from the outside," the regional government said in a statement CBS News reported. "Confine yourself, if possible, in the rooms located furthest inside.”

The regional government of Spain’s Canary Islands, located off Africa’s Northwest coast, issued the order on Monday.

The area encompasses three municipalities, home to roughly 33,000 people, and makes up 38% of the population of the island, according to the national statistics from the institute INE, CBS reported. 

The government also urged those who are outside not to stay in their cars, and to go to the nearest building for safety. They were also advised to turn off their air-conditioning and heating and to use tape to seal up doors and windows, the news outlet reported.

Stavros Meletlidis, of the Spanish National Geographic Institute, told Reuters Europe that the eruption started on Sept. 19, and it is "longer than any eruption on La Palma since records started over 500 years ago.”

Red hot lava flows have damaged or destroyed at least 2,650 buildings, and has forced the evacuation of thousands of people from their homes on the island, according to the Copernicus disaster monitoring program, Reuters Europe reported.

Many of the local residents are getting impatient and just hoping things will get back to normal soon. One local told Reuters that he went to Madrid to get “some air." "People are fed up,” he said.

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