Lava in the Canary Archipelago destroys hundreds of homes and prompts the evacuation of thousands of residents

After scientists warned of an increased risk of an eruption at the Cumbria Vija volcano, Spanish authorities on Sunday began evacuations of dozens of people with mobility problems and some livestock to safer areas on la Palma island. Spain's Defence Ministry said it had deployed soldiers to help evacuate.

Spanish authorities on Sunday evacuated some 40 people with mobility problems and some livestock to safer areas on la Palma island after scientists warned of an increased risk of an eruption at the Cumbria Vija volcano.

The Spanish National Geographical Institute said scientists recorded a series of earthquakes of up to 3.8 magnitudes in the Cumbria Veja National Park in the south of the island.

Spain's Defence Ministry said it had deployed soldiers to help evacuate. Authorities have not ordered the mass evacuation of up to 33,000 people living near the volcano.

A spokesman for the Canary Islands Institute of Volcanology said: "Earthquakes are becoming more severe and lava is steadily rushing towards the surface. "The chance of an explosion is increasing, which has led the government to decide to evacuate some people."

In a tweet, the local government, which began carrying out evacuations in populated areas closest to the volcano, wrote, "The volcanic eruption began in the Kapitha de Vaca area of El Paso."

"Residents are being asked to be very careful and stay away from the eruption area to avoid any risks," she said.

Alert

Clouds of smoke, ash, and lava were rising from the crater, according to the first scenes broadcast on Spanish public television at around 4:30 p.m. (1430 GMT).

The Cumbria Vija volcano has been under follow-up for a week due to a surge in seismic activity.

The Canary Islands Institute of Volcanology has recorded thousands of earthquakes measuring 4 on the Richter scale since Last Saturday.

A few days before the eruption, authorities who informed residents to be prepared began evacuating persons with disabilities in towns closest to the volcano on the island off the coast of northwest Africa.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, who was scheduled to leave for New York to attend the united nations General Assembly, decided to leave immediately.

"Given the situation on La Palma, the Prime Minister has postponed his scheduled trip today to New York and will visit the Canary Islands this afternoon to follow up on the situation," the Spanish government's information office said in a statement.

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