We’ll be bringing you the very latest updates, pictures and video on this breaking news story
A volcano has erupted on a Spanish island in the wake of earthquakes.
Local residents and animals were evacuated from La Palma shortly before lava and smoke rose into the sky.
It had been said by experts that an eruption was not imminent, but earthquakes in recent hours prompted the Cumbre Vieja volcano to explode just after 3pm today.
Just before, authorities evacuated around 40 people with mobility issues and farm animals from the villages surrounding the volcano. Soldiers have also been deployed to help with the evacuation, which is expected to continue throughout the day.
On Saturday, an earthquake measuring 3.2 on the Richter scale broke out before the surface, and several more tremors, reaching a maximum of 3.8 on the Richter scale were felt on Sunday morning.
AFP via Getty Images)
More than 6,600 small earthquakes have been registered in the Cumbre Vieja area since the latest earthquake swarm activity began on September 11, the Independent reports.
On Sunday alone, the National Geographic Institute (IGN) said 327 earthquakes had been detected.
On Monday, the threat level was raised to yellow, warning people living in at-risk areas to be prepared to evacuate.
The Scientific Committee of the Volcano Risk Prevention Plan said stronger earthquakes were “likely to be felt and may cause damage to buildings.”
Videos showing the smoke and lava in the sky after the volcano’s eruption have been shared on Twitter.
The Canary Islands Volcanology Institute tweeted a picture and captioned it: “First images of INVOLCAN taking thermal images of the eruptive column.”
It later warned people not to approach the site of the volcano and tweeted: “Follow the advice of the authorities and DO NOT GO near the site of the eruption. #LaPalma.”
News site elDiario shared a terrifying video of the aftermath of the eruption. Reporting live, it tweeted: “Images of the eruption of Cumbre Vieja, on La Palma.”
Cumbre Vieja is active although dormant volcanic ridge on the volcanic ocean island of La Palma in the Canary Islands, Spain, that erupted twice in the 20th century – in 1949, and again in 1971.
During the 1971 eruption, one man was killed when he took photographs near the lava flows. No property was damaged.
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